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Dennis Schmelzer 1966
 
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About Dennis: After graduating from Concordia Teachers College in Seward Nebraska in 1971, Dennis taught 5th & 6th grade at Mt. Calvary Lutheran School, Detroit for 3 years. During that time entered his art in local galleries. Since he was still single he decided to leave teaching and move out to California where he spent a year as an artist, selling his work in galleries and art fairs. Tough way to live ... and when a teaching opportunity opened up he taught 3rd grade at Grace Lutheran School in Escondido California for three years.

One of his students had a dad that offered him an incredible opportunity to work for the leading security system company on the west coast. He then spent time in sales management for Westinghouse Security Systems in Rancho Santa Fe.

But still seeing opportunities in the art and graphic industry he then worked for Ernst Limited, an international art print company. - Taking that experience forward he opened up his own design firm and did work for major corporations like AT&T, Farmers Insurance, NCR, Jack in the Box etc.

In 1983 he married Trace LaFevere and was blessed with an awesome son, John.

As a small design firm, he had some real challenges in dealing with large corporations and decided to work for Global Telecon, a national Communications company designing their marketing collateral. From there he stepped into sales management and was responsible for opening up offices in San Francisco, Dallas, Chicago, Houston, and Seattle.

Traveling finally wore him out and he and his wife decided that at 42, he would pursue a lifelong dream. - They sold their home, went back to Concordia Seminary in Fort Wayne Indiana, and after 4 years, was ordained.

In 1993 God opened two incredible doors. First, Dr. Wallace Schulz, then Speaker of the Lutheran Hour asked him to be responsible for the design of a full color magazine that would explain our Lutheran Catechism through articles accompanied by world famous art work. The initial project was to be distributed here in the states, Russia and Latvia. Secondly, there was a vacancy in an LCMS church 30 miles from Dr. Schultz that Dennis and the family accepted. By the time he ended his involvement in this incredible mission, the "Good News" magazine was published in 18 languages, with over 150,000 copies distributed annually to over 100 countries worldwide. Today it is still being published and is bringing the Gospel to the world.

In 2004 Dennis and Trace divorced and he continued with the ministry until retiring in 2011. He now enjoys fly fishing, golf and working in his studio. You can see some of his art by going to the Ryan Design and Illustration facebook page.

Message to Classmates: I can still see Ms. Finzel walking down the hall with her head tilted looking for which one of us was "up to something." And now - with aging bodies and memories that don't work - we look forward to getting together again. Thanks Paul and committee for a phenomenal project - you are all so appreciated! God be with us 'til we meet again!

 
  This page was last updated on October 31, 2015.