Cover photo for Paul W. Schmalz's Obituary
Paul W. Schmalz Profile Photo

Paul W. Schmalz

September 11, 1944 — June 10, 2023

Overland Park, KS

Paul W. Schmalz died at Overland Park Kansas on June 10, 2023. Born in Jefferson City on September 11, 1944, and baptized at Trinity Church, he was the second of three sons of the Rev. Alfred C. Schmalz and Gertrude Ehlen Schmalz and was the fourth generation of Lutheran school teachers and musicians who first emigrated from Germany to Minnesota in the 1850s.

Paul was deeply influenced by his mother and first teacher Gertrude who herself at an early age was discovered by her teacher father to have a voice of extraordinary range and purity which she retained for more than seven decades. In her early twenties she frequently soloed with the Minneapolis Symphony and A Capella Choir while performing at local supper clubs and hosting her own Sunday afternoon program on Radio WCCO. When barely twenty her choir and she both won top honors at the Chicago Worlds Fair music competition. Fortunately for her sons and husband she chose marriage and family as her next vocation.

Paul's father, Alfred, raised on a farm, was sent off to Concordia College, St. Paul MN at the tender age of fourteen where he graduated and went into accounting for fours years before entering Concordia Seminary from which he graduated in 1931. He served with distinction for exactly 25 years in each of two large and growing parishes: Trinity, Jefferson City MO and St. John, Luverne MN. All three of his sons served lifelong in the pastoral or teaching ministries.

After six years of Lutheran parochial education Paul moved to Luverne MN, a town which would later be featured in Ken Burn's PBS series "The War." He was confirmed in the faith in 1958 at St. John's Church, where soon he was playing the organ for worship. Proud to be a part of the Class of '62 at LHS he played drums and became the second of his family's three brothers to don the bearskin hat as drum major of the Cardinal marching band. In the eleventh grade he transferred to Concordia, St. Paul MN where he became the youngest organ student of the internationally known organist, Prof. Paul Manz and received awards in piano with the metropolitan Schubert Club.

Not well known is that Paul was a proficient swimmer and Red Cross certified Water Safety Instructor who over the course of several summers became head teacher/lifeguard  at the Luverne municipal pool.

Paul continued his keyboard studies in his third year of college at Valparaiso University where he was discovered to be a gifted stage performer with acclaimed roles in "The Mikado," "Bells are Ringing," as the dashing Mercutio in "Romeo and Juliet," and as  Leporello in the opera "Don Giovanni." However his signature role was as the Narrator/El Gallo (originally played by Jerry Orbach in New York) for Valpo's extended run of "The Fantasticks."

After briefly considering an acting career Paul returned to the Twin Cities and completed his music and teaching degree at the University of Minnesota and Concordia College. He was a teacher and musician in St. Paul in the early 1970s where he was married for several years to the former Jolene Juedes of Shawano WI,  also a musician and teacher. He had no children but delighted in his hundreds of former students, calling them "my children," as well as holding dear his dear nephews and nieces and their children.

Paul came to Kansas City in 1976 where he served 33 years at Calvary Church and School first as fifth grade teacher and music director and later as full time musician until his retirement in 2009. He enjoyed his fellow teachers and especially the three pastors with whom he loved to create beautiful worship for God's people and the Triune God. Paul's partnership in ministry culminated with current Pastor, Bryce Bereuter, in an especially blessed partnership during his last years at Calvary.

Aside from music making, Paul loved living in Kansas City, delighting in its arts and many restaurants over the years with best friend,  David Hamam, David's mom Louise until her death, Father Bill, Kathy, Mary Ann and Chuck. Paul and Dave enjoyed supporting new Kansas City citizens in their businesses and encouraging young people's talents in music. Paul loved travel and visited many parts of the United States and Canada.  He was particularly proud of his solo trip through Europe after he played organ at niece Stephanie's wedding in Aigle, Switzerland in 2002.

Paul is preceded in death by his parents and his close friend David Hamam.  He is mourned by our  immediate family: brother Dan (and wife Connie who were introduced by Paul at Valpo), nieces Sara (Bill) and Stephanie (Marc Frederic and Anna Claire), brother Joel (Trudy), nephews David and Mark (Michaela, Ainsley and Emory).

Paul's funeral will be held 10 AM Saturday June 17, 10:00 a.m. at Calvary Lutheran Church, 7500 Oak St, Kansas City MO.  Visitation will also be at the church on Friday June 16, 6:00 - 8:00 pm.

The family has recommened that memorial contributions be made to:

Calvary Lutheran Church

7500 Oak Street

Kansas City, MO 64114


Calvary Lutheran Music Program

7500 Oak Street

Kansas City, MO 64114


Good Shepherd Hospice

123 W Kansas Ave.

Independence, MO 64050

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Paul W. Schmalz, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Friday, June 16, 2023

6:00 - 8:00 pm (Central time)

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Funeral Service

Saturday, June 17, 2023

Starts at 10:00 am (Central time)

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Graveside Service

Saturday, June 17, 2023

Starts at 4:00 pm (Central time)

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