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Miles George Schweiger

January 7, 1933 February 26, 2019
Miles George Schweiger
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Obituary for Miles George Schweiger

Miles George Schweiger, age 86, of Mt. Vernon Missouri, passed away peacefully in his home with his family by his side on February 26, 2019. He was born January 7, 1933, in Decorah Iowa the son of Mease and Dora (Meirick) Schweiger.

He graduated in 1951 from St. Mary’s Catholic School in New Haven Iowa. In 1952 he married Lucy Johanns. This past December they celebrated their 66th wedding anniversary.

After marriage they settled in the southwest Missouri area. Miles was industrious and hardworking, owning several small businesses as well as raising cattle. Miles was known for his sense of humor and his no nonsense approach to life.

Survivors include his wife, Lucy; his children, Nancy Hyland and her husband, Kevin of New Franklin, Missouri, Mike Schweiger and his wife, Shelia of Rogersville, Missouri, Jack Schweiger and his wife, Janet of Acworth, Georgia, Suzy Morgan and her husband, Larry of Springfield, Missouri and Gary Schweiger and wife, Lyla of Cedar Rapids, Iowa; ten grandchildren and twelve great-grandchildren.

Rosary will be held at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, March 1, 2019, with visitation to follow until 8:00 p.m. at the Fossett-Mosher Funeral Home in Mt. Vernon. Funeral services will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, March 2, 2019, at the St. Susanne Catholic Church in Mt. Vernon with burial to follow at the Mt. Vernon IOOF Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers donations are being accepted for Intrepid Hospice or St. Susanne Catholic Church Food Pantry, in care of the funeral home.

Online condolences may be shared at this website.

Tribute to Miles Schweiger
1/7/1933-2/26/19

Our father was born just over 86 years ago on January 7, 1933 in Decorah, Iowa. It was the heart of the great depression, and the middle of another cold Iowa winter. Upon entering this world, we are convinced there were 2 things he immediately decided. First, that he wanted to make a better life for himself, and second, that he wanted to move to a warmer climate.
Dad was the 3rd of 4 children. Legend has it that he was the first child delivered by C-section in that part of the state whereby the mother and child both survived. Unfortunately, his mother passed away when he was 3 years old. It was a difficult childhood, and from the age of 12 – 18 his father loaned him to another farmer to work as a farm hand. As expected, he did back breaking farm work. It’s amazing, even for my generation, to think that he actually used teams of horses when working in the field. During that time, he lived in a bunk house with other hired farmhands, most of whom were Polish immigrants. Ironically, we think this is what spurred his interest in telling jokes.
Our father was known to be tough as nails. Since his high school was too small to have its own team, our dad, and his brother Norbert, wrestled for the local 4-H team. Both ended up beating the Iowa state high school wrestling champions. When a high school coach in the region (Osage) asked if they could transfer to his school, their father refused. It may have been one reason he was not afraid to let us kids leave home to follow our dreams.
When he wasn’t working on the farm, or wrestling, dad attended school 3 days a week. It was a small Catholic school in the town of New Haven, Iowa. The church is still there. There are also a handful of houses, but not much more. The school, which is no longer standing, had nuns for teachers. The priests served as administrators. Father, I hope it doesn’t affect his standing in the afterlife, but he frequently referred to them as “mean as hell.” Our mom was one grade behind, but she never really complained about the priests or nuns. It probably speaks volumes about our dad’s behavior in school.
Dad’s nickname growing up was Squirt. In fact, many of the people he knows from Iowa still call him Squirt. We kids were told it was due to his small stature. Our mom assures us it does not have a hidden meaning.
Our father was certainly proud of his academic achievements. Despite the many challenges he faced growing up, he managed to graduate 3rd in his high school senior class. We later learned that there were only 3 people in his graduating class.
Even though he had few possessions to his name, his future in-laws recognized that he was hard-working, honest, and had great potential to provide for their daughter. Clearly, he was also persistent. As my mom likes to say. They were so poor, they didn’t have a pot to pee in, or a window to throw it out of.
Our parents were married in December, 1952. Dad was 19. Our mom was 18. In keeping with the common birth control method of the day, the oldest child, Nancy was born 10 months later. Three years later, they moved to southwest Missouri, and settled on a farm near Pierce City. Dad began branching out. In addition to farming and raising livestock, he worked at the old Eagle Picher smelter outside Galena, Kansas, where white lead was produced from the ore mined locally. Despite the hard physical nature of the work, 3 more children, Mike, Jack and Suzy, were born.
Our growing family temporarily moved back to the family farm in Iowa in 1959. I was born a few years later. In 1969, we moved back to Missouri a second time, this time settling in Mount Vernon after purchasing that iconic roadside attraction known as the Ranch Motel.
Dad could certainly be a tough taskmaster. Growing up on farms, and at the motel, there were always chores that we kids were expected to do. For the older kids, it was mostly farmwork. Mike was actually operating a tractor in the 3rd grade. For the younger kids, it was mostly work at the motel.
Even though I was the youngest, I also got to participate in plenty of farm chores after our parents bought farmland on the east side of Mt. Vernon. During my middle school years, I remember begrudgingly being woken up many mornings before dark so I could open gates for my dad while we fed hay to the cattle, and broke ice on the ponds so the cattle could drink. It was during these mornings that I first learned about what is now referred to as classic country” as we listened to Conway Twitty, Dolly Parton, Loretta Lynn, and a number of other new artists playing on the KTTS radio station out of Springfield.
All of us kids remember being woken up early by our father on a regular basis to do chores. Instead of an alarm clock, he would would wake us by twisting one, or both of our big toes. We all agree that it was a pretty effective method for getting us out of bed and getting us moving for the day.
As many of you know, our father certainly loved a good joke, and always appreciated a good prank. We often laugh about the time when he was testing the chlorine level one morning at the motel swimming pool. Two young boys approached and asked him what he was doing. He stopped, looked at them, and told him he was checking to see if anyone had peed in the pool. He put a drop of one of the chemicals in the pool water. When it changed color he told them that sure enough, someone had peed in the pool. One of the boys pointed to the other one and said. I told him not to do it!
On another occasion, there were motel customers who had been staying at the motel for several days. They happened to be traveling with their dog who took it upon itself to leave several large poopy messes on the carpet in their room. Our father went over to see them off on the morning they checked out. When they weren’t looking, he made sure to feed the dog Ex-Lax before they all got into their car for their long drive on a hot summer day.
Our father certainly loved to play cards, and was amazingly good at it. Whether he had a natural ability, or relied on divine intervention, we never knew. But we do remember him occasionally trying to summon a higher spirit. When he really needed that certain card from the deck he would recite the following incantation: Itsy bitsy tibbity fig. Deo doa dominig. Achi bachi dominachi. In out go you.
He would then turn the top card from the deck over and, more often than not, the card he desperately needed would be there for him.
Our father also had an entrepreneurial spirit. He and mom bought various rental houses in Mt Vernon, and pastureland around Mt Vernon. Unfortunately, that often meant more work for us kids. The indentured servitude he experienced growing up was shared with us as well. If only each of us had a dollar for every gate we opened, every bed we made, every floor we vacuumed, or every toilet we cleaned.
Mom and dad also purchased a liquor store in Seneca, Missouri from family friends who they knew from Iowa. Interestingly enough, the liquor store was on the Missouri side of the border between Missouri and Oklahoma. The border for the state line was actually right beside the building. More incredibly, the county in Oklahoma that bordered the store was a dry county, and there were always plenty of thirsty Oklahoman’s coming in to find something to slake their thirst! How amazing is that? They went on to own a couple of Kentucky Fried Chicken franchises in central Missouri, and since they ran out of kids to help them, our dad enlisted one of his son in-laws, Kevin, to help manage them.
There is no question that our father lived an incredible and meaningful life. He was able to touch the lives of many people. I know that I speak for my siblings when I say that we admired our father’s work ethic, optimism, and sense of humor. We also appreciated his spirit, and joy of life. I think many of the people in this room can remember how he would respond when you asked how he was doing, a response that often started with “It’s a beautiful day in the Ozarks...”
In his book, The Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens wrote “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” We all agree that our father’s failing health over that last couple of years was difficult and frustrating for him, but he was able to pass away at home surrounded by family. We believe he would be absolutely tickled to see so many friends and family here today to celebrate his life. No doubt, he would greatly appreciate all of you giving someone a hug, and instead of kissing them on the cheek, lean into their ear and share that special joke that you have been holding.
On behalf of the Schweiger family, we would like to thank all of you for being here. God bless you all.


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Previous Events

Rosary

Friday

1

Mar

5:30 PM 3/1/2019 5:30:00 PM - 6:00 PM 3/1/2019 6:00:00 PM
Fossett-Mosher Funeral Home

510 E. Cherry St.
Mt. Vernon, MO 65712

Fossett-Mosher Funeral Home
510 E. Cherry St. Mt. Vernon 65712 MO
United States

Visitation

Friday

1

Mar

6:00 PM 3/1/2019 6:00:00 PM - 8:00 PM 3/1/2019 8:00:00 PM
Fossett-Mosher Funeral Home

510 E. Cherry St.
Mt. Vernon, MO 65712

Fossett-Mosher Funeral Home
510 E. Cherry St. Mt. Vernon 65712 MO
United States

Funeral Mass

Saturday

2

Mar

10:30 AM 3/2/2019 10:30:00 AM
St. Susanne Catholic Church

700 W. Sloan St.
Mt. Vernon, MO 65712

St. Susanne Catholic Church
700 W. Sloan St. Mt. Vernon 65712 MO
United States

Burial

Saturday

2

Mar

11:30 AM 3/2/2019 11:30:00 AM
Mt. Vernon IOOF Cemetery

Mt. Vernon IOOF Cemetery
Mt. Vernon, MO 65712

Mt. Vernon IOOF Cemetery
Mt. Vernon IOOF Cemetery Mt. Vernon 65712 MO
United States

Cemetery Details

Location

Mt. Vernon IOOF Cemetery Final Resting Place

Mt. Vernon IOOF Cemetery
Mt. Vernon, MO 65712

Mt. Vernon IOOF Cemetery Mt. Vernon 65712 MO
United States

Memorial Contribution

St. Susanne's Catholic Church

Memorials may be made payable to the St. Susanne Catholic Church, in care of the funeral home.

Intrepid Hospice

Memorial donations may be made payable to the Intrepid Hospice, in care of the funeral home

St. Susanne Food Pantry

Memorial donations may be made payable to the St. Susanne's Food Pantry, in care of the funeral home
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