Harold Schmidt, 97, of Shawnee, KS, passed away October 1, 2020. A private family service will be held at Mount Washington Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions be given to Cross-Lines Community Outreach, 736 Shawnee Ave., Kansas City, KS 66105 or to the Countryside Christian Church.
Harold was born February 7, 1923 in Dubuque, Iowa to Reinhardt and Helen Schmidt. Growing up Harold was called "Bud" by his parents, three sisters and two brothers. He started working at age 10 at Tennebaum's Grocery store as a carryout boy where he made $.10 per hour. Growing up during the Great Depression was really tough so he quit school after the 9th grade to work more to help support his parents and siblings. He later worked at Farley & Lechers (where his Father Reinhardt worked) and made staircase spindles. He served his country in World War II and went to basic training at the Airforce Base in Shepard Field, Texas and subsequently to Camp Crowder Missouri for Radio Operator Training; and from there to Kansas City, Missouri where he attended Central Radio and Teletype School. It was in Kansas City that he met the love of his life and future bride, Vernetta Cross. He had been a roller-skating instructor growing up in Dubuque and met her at the Pla-Mor Amusement Center when Vernetta fell while roller skating and was helped up by Smitty, which became his nickname in the military and to friends thereafter. He always said that she "Fell for Me and I "Picked Her Up". Harold served in the 407th signal core at Hickam Field, Pearl Harbor in late 1943 and was part of the team responsible for operating the message center, radio and teletype for all of the South Pacific. He subsequently served in Guam and was ultimately promoted to Sergeant prior to his honorable discharge on February 1, 1946.
Smitty and Vernetta wrote letters to each other throughout the war and were married on April 6, 1946.They were married for over 70 years and together they raised their four children and were blessed with many grandchildren and great-grandchildren all of whom they loved dearly.
Smitty had his own TV repair business in the 1950s called Smittys TV Shop. He subsequently became a meat cutter for Milgrams Grocery for many years. Though he lacked a high school education he had a great curiosity for learning new things. He invested in real estate and invested wisely in the stock market and was always concerned about the welfare of his family and friends. He taught himself how to do projects around the home and ultimately added rooms to the family home and became very mechanically inclined. He always was working on a project.
Smitty and Vernetta loved spending time with their grandchildren and great grandchildren and enjoyed traveling, playing cards, square dancing, attending Starlight Theater and visiting family in Dubuque. He also enjoyed going to the horse or dog track. Because of his love of travel, he bought and worked on campers which he loved to drive across the country and go camping. Smitty was always quick witted and was ready to tell the latest corny joke or two that he heard. He made the caregivers in his assisted living facility laugh with his quick retorts. When asked how he was, he frequently said, "Fine like wine" or "Never been better and had less". He missed Vernetta dearly after her passing in 2017 and was looking forward to being reunited with her again. We will miss him greatly but are glad he is now in a better place.
Smitty was preceded in death by his parents, his wife Vernetta Schmidt as well as his sisters Helen Hingtgen and her husband Ray, Jannan Hancock and her husband Bill, Marion Richey and her husband Bob, and brothers Raymond Schmidt and Melvin Schmidt. He is survived by his sister in law Ora Schmidt, four children: Dan Schmidt and wife Zeny, Darlene Conner and husband Terry, Christine Sappenfield and husband John, Tom Schmidt and wife Judy, and, his grandchildren: Dan Schmidt II, Bob Schmidt and wife Mandy, Rick Krapes and wife Polly, Jeanette Raven and husband Matt, Kaylan Campain and husband Troy ,Ryan Sztorch and wife Susie, Shane Sztorch, Alex Schmidt, and Meghan Schmidt, as well as his great grandchildren: Jack and Sam Schmidt; Hayden, Sophia and Laney Schmidt, Cordelia, Hayden, and Aubrey Krapes; Hudson, Brooklyn, and Odin Raven, and Aiden and Conner Campain.