Ed Kleinschmidt’s first job in the dairy industry was as a laborer at Massey Dairy in Granite City, Ill., during his high school years. His second job was as a summer intern with Borden, Inc., during the summer of 1948.
Soon after his discharge from the U.S. Army in 1945 he enrolled in the College of Agriculture at the University of Missouri. He graduated in 1949 with a degree in dairy technology. Ed remembers that Prof. W.H.E. Reid was his adviser while he was at MU.
Following graduation Ed went to work for Borden on a full-time basis working with salesmen making calls and then became a salesman himself. Ed moved on to become an office manager, sales manager, St. Louis plant manager, and lastly midwest divisional manager for Borden.
Ed retired from Borden in June 1980 when the company closed its midwest and northern divisions.
Then, still in 1980, Ed went to work for Prairie Farm’s Ice Cream Specialties Division. In his work with Ice Cream Specialties he was general sales manager at plants in St. Louis and Lafayette, Ind.
Ed was also a union negotiator representing management.
His work with Massey Dairy, Borden, and Ice Cream Specialties covered a span of 51 years.
Ed was born on a dairy farm near DeSoto Nov. 26, 1923 but left the farm when his mother was forced to sell following the death of his father. The 300-acre Kleinschmidt family farm was homesteaded around 1860 by Ed’s paternal grandfather who had emigrated to the United States from Germany.
After graduating from Granite City High School in 1943 he went into the U.S. Army where he was a member of an anti-aircraft unit. Ed landed at Omaha Beach during the D-Day Allied invasion of France.
He also fought in the Battle of the Bulge and was awarded the Bronze Star.
On June 12, 1948 he married Mary M. Reddinger of St. Louis. The Kleinschmidts have three children. They are Judith Iffrig, marketing manager, Cramer Institute; Richard, executive vice president, Gateway Insurance; and Kurt, communications specialist, St. John’s Mercy Medical Center. All three are located in St. Louis.
Judith and Richard are graduates of St. Louis University and Kurt graduated from the University of Missouri-St. Louis.
The Kleinschmidts also have three granddaughters and three grandsons.
During his working career Ed was a member of organizations related to the dairy industry. They included the All-Aboard Club that was oriented toward railroad suppliers; charter member of the St. Louis Allied Food Club; St. Louis Area Food Association; and other clubs in St. Louis and other locations where his product was sold.
Ed was president of the Missouri Dairy Association during the 1960s and is a member of the Missouri Dairy Products Association. He has been a member of the Clayton Methodist Church for 50 years and served the church as a lay leader, treasurer, and in other positions.
The Kleinschmidts now live in Chesterfield.
The long time participant in the dairy industry was nominated for the Hall of Honors Meritorious Service Award by the Missouri Dairy Products Association. “We are pleased to nominate a person who has been such a strong force in the Missouri dairy industry,” said Gary Aggus, MDPA president.