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Schmidt, Gary (1947-1969)

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Mennonite Weekly Review obituary: 1969 Dec 11 p. 3

Birth date: 1947 Nov 6

Mennonite Weekly Review obituary: 1970 Jan 29 p. 11

text of obituary:


Gary Schmidt was born on Nov. 6, 1947 and was baptized Jan. 13, 1965. He died Dec. 5, 1969 as a result of an auto accident on Nov. 21 at the comer of Dutch Ave. and Main Street in Buhler, Kan.

Twenty-two years and 29 days of physical life have ended for Gary Schmidt. His death has also ended his relationship to a loving mother and only brother, as well as his relationship to Becky, his wife, his loving sister-in-law, his stepfather, and step-sister and brothers. Many other relatives are conscious of the loss of a nephew and cousin. Gary will also be especially missed by Bonnie his niece, and Kenny his nephew. In death, Gary was only two weeks behind in joining his nephew Greg and some seven years and several months behind his dearly beloved father. Also, Orville, his oldest brother, preceded him in death.

Gary was born in Newton, Kan. and spent the first three years with his parents and brother Cliff on the farm. In 1960 the family moved to Buhler, although the farm remained intact. Heavy boned and hard muscled, he developed into a strong, competitive youth.

Life on the farm had its lessons. One major experience was the non-fatal though frightening accident during seeding time one year. Of far reaching consequences was the death of his father in 1962. Gary excelled in athletics. A football pass reception record still stands unbroken. This love for play was also evident in his relationship to children for whom he found time even under the busiest circumstances.

Similar tender affection was also evident in his care for an out-patient whom he helped while in Chicago. Just recently he mentioned how sorry he felt for that old man whom he and Bruce Ediger looked after.

While in Chicago, Gary also learned some valuable spiritual lessons. He was deeply impressed with the free and easy witness for Christ some of his Negro fellow workers expressed. Gary spoke in unsolicited language about Christ’s Second Coming.

Gary and wife Becky returned to our community and congregation last summer. They had entered phase three of their lives. Community and congregational responsibilities were easing onto their shoulders. Gary expressed surprise and pleasure at his election into church positions. He expressed real interest in a young married couple’s class. Before the accident he had agreed to speak at the church about his 1-W experiences. Perhaps symbolic of Gary’s real character was his love for Greg his nephew.

He who has ears to hear, let him listen to what God wishes to communicate through the life and death of Gary.

The Mennonite obituary: 1969 Dec 23 p. 777

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