Marcella Elizabeth Mulligan was born in Omaha, NE to Joseph and Frances Mulligan. She attended St. John’s School and graduated from Duchesne College in Omaha, NE. After graduation from college and prior to her marriage, she was employed by a firm in Los Angeles. An avid dancer, Marcella enjoyed the Big Bands and would dance at local ballrooms. As a young girl, she was known for teaching neighbor children Irish dances.
Felix Leonard Schmitz was born in Osmond, NE, to Leonard and Catherine Schmitz. He attended Creighton Prep, and graduated from Creighton University where he majored in pharmaceutical chemistry, and was also a German language scholar. As a youngster, he spent time on the family homestead farm by Breda, IA, where he enjoyed hunting, fishing, and helping with chores.
Marcella and Felix were married on June 1, 1940, at St. Johns Church in Omaha, NE, the same church where Marcella’s parents were married. During WWII, they lived in North Platte prior to moving to Lincoln in the late 1940s. It was there that the Schmitz family – Felix, his mother, and his brothers Leonard and Urban – renovated and opened the Randolph Drug Store on the southwest corner of 27th and Randolph. In addition to having prescriptions filled there, you could visit the soda fountain and grill, or purchase a greeting card, magazine, or numerous household and personal goods. During the early years, Randolph Drug Store even sold fireworks from the store space next door.
For many Lincoln High and Pius X High School students, working at Randolph Drug was their first opportunity for employment. Pius X students who were employed at the drug store included: Mary Ahlgrim, Bob Avey, Jean Champoux, Pat Dean, Judy Hansen, Betty Jo Mitchell, Barbara Prokopf, Craig and Brantly Richardson, Joan Schammel, Yvonne Sterricker and James, Terence, Mary, Tom, and Patricia Schmitz, Yvonne Merwick and Delores Woods. There were also Bill Avey, James Eastman and Marcia Schammel from St. Mary’s Cathedral, and Aleta Sintek from Sacred Heart.
Felix and Marcella did their best to see that their children, James, Terence, Mary, Tom, Patty, John, and Mark, all attended Catholic schools which included: St. Teresa, Blessed Sacrament, St. Thomas Orphanage, Holy Family/Risen Christ, and Pius X. Felix and Marcella’s grandchildren Benjamin (son of Terence and Suzanne), Alec, and Katelin (son and daughter of Mark and Joyce) also graduated from Pius X.
Marcella was a wonderful mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, daughter and friend. She led by example, demonstrating to all her devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the Virgin Mary, and the Holy Family. She encouraged her children to be the best they can be at their chosen fields. In addition to being a dedicated mother, Marcella looked after her own mother, aunt, and mother’s cousin in their twilight years, making sure they were included in all the family’s activities. Marcella is a founding member of Perpetual Adoration Society at Risen Christ, and an active member of the Legion of Mary.
In addition to being an owner of Randolph Drug Store, Felix also was a real estate broker for Manzitto-Glynn Real Estate, managed the pharmacy at Treasure City for DeKoven Drug Company, and was a supervising pharmacist at the Veterans Hospital. Felix loved spending time with his children, whether it was ice skating on the local ponds or swimming at area pools. He had a special fondness for the July 4th holiday.
Felix and Marcella strongly believed that we are all children of God, and that all racial and ethnic differences vanish when we see others for who they truly are. They lived their lives with the belief that we are all here on earth to know, love, and serve God, that each day is a gift, and that we are responsible for what we make of it.