North Newton, KS -Richard Lee Schmidt – 89- Peacefully passed away April 9, 2019. He was born December 4, 1929 to John U. Schmidt and Marie Gaeddert Schmidt in Hutchinson, Kansas. As a teenager he studied Catechism and was baptized in First Mennonite Church where his family was active. He attended Hutchinson schools and played baseball on school teams and community teams. He graduated from Hutchinson High school in 1948. Richard attended Bethel College where he was a baseball letterman.
In 1953 he married Josephine Goering of Pretty Prairie, Kansas. That same year he was drafted into the U.S. Army, stationed at Ft. Bragg, North Carolina. In 1955 he returned to college at the University of Kansas and obtained a Business and Marketing degree which led to his employment with Continental Oil Company. A desire to have his own business led him to contract with Western Auto Supply Company to open a retail store in Clay Center, Kansas. Richard and his family moved there in 1968 where he and his wife, Josephine, owned and operated a Western Auto Store; the store later became Our Own hardware and Appliance. The children, Steven, Alan, Karen, and later, Sarah attended Clay Center schools and also helped in the store.
The family was active in Clay Center’s Baptist Church, In October 1971, the second son Richard Alan, age 14, contracted cancer and died in January 1972. Despite the grief and hardship, Richard and Josephine continued with the store which had been open just 3 years.
After 27 years in business Richard and Josephine retired and moved to North Newton, Kansas. Where both became active members of Faith Mennonite Church. Richard is survived by his wife, Josephine, son Steven Schmidt and wife, Sue of Darby, Montana, daughter Karen Thompson and husband, Gary of Salina, Kansas and daughter Sarah Fleming and husband, Sid of Iola, Kansas.
Grandchildren are Leslie Thompson Hecker of Salina and Jesse Thompson of Austin, Texas and also Leah Schmidt of Darby, Montana, also Thomas Elsie, and Luna Fleming of Iola, Kansas. Great grandchildren are Kennedy, Grayson, Remy, Harper and Alexa.
Richard was preceded in death by his son Richard Alan and by his parents John and Marie Schmidt, and also by his brother, Raymond Eugene Schmidt and sister-in-law, Esther Stucky Schmidt, and by great- granddaughter, Abigail Leslie Hecker.
Memorial service will be 11:00 a.m. Saturday June 1, 2019 at Faith Mennonite Church in Newton, Kansas with Pastor Randy Smith officiating.
Memorials are suggested to Faith Mennonite Church or Kidron Bethel Healthcare in care of Petersen Funeral Home 215 North Main Newton, Kansas 67114