Elda R. (Fast) Schmidt 97, died Friday, July 6, 2018 at Kidron Bethel Village in North Newton, Kansas.
Elda was born April 14, 1921 in Goessel, Kansas to Peter B. and Lena (Helena Balzer) Fast. Her paternal grandparents were Isaac Fast and Susanna (Wedel) Fast and her maternal grandparents were Peter Balzer and Maria (Schmidt) Balzer. She grew up on her family’s farm southwest of Goessel. Her mother always had a large garden and Elda helped with the gardening, chores and harvesting. She attended Goessel Mennonite Church and was baptized by Rev. Peter P Buller. She enjoyed Sunday School, singing in the choir, and singing together with family around the piano. Elda attended Gordon Grade School and graduated from Goessel High School in 1941. She was always grateful for her heritage, her home life and Christian parents who had regular family devotions and prayer.
Later Elda did a lot of house work, kitchen and floor work at Bethel Deaconess Hospital and took a nurse aid training course. Feeling that “something was missing from her life,” she moved to Denver, Colorado with her sister Ruth (Fast) Reather. In Denver Elda attended Bon Ton Beauty School and graduated from there in 1957.
After working as a beautician in Colorado for 9 years she moved back to Kansas and worked in several local beauty shops. Her father passed away at age 83, the winter she returned (1966) to Kansas. Her mother passed away in 1972 at the age of 88. Later Elda opened her own beauty shop in downtown Newton. She always enjoyed her customers company throughout the years. In 2008 she celebrated 50 years as a beautician. During that time she belonged to the American Business Women’s Association in Newton, was Care Coordinator for her Sunday School Class, and also joined various tour groups for travels around the country.
Elda met David T. Schmidt in 1969 after he wrote her a letter saying he would like to meet her. David and Elda were married on June 30, 1970 in the First Mennonite Church, Newton, KS. Elda was very grateful that David’s sons, Donald and Lewis, their wives Marlene and Dorothy and children and grandchildren accepted her as a member of their extended family. David and Elda enjoyed fishing and traveling together until his cancer recurred, which made traveling more difficult. David Schmidt died May 16, 1973, at the age of 62.
Elda eventually ran her beauty shop in her own home. After 20 years she moved to Kidron-Bethel Village where she retired from working as a beautician. During her life she enjoyed family and friends, traveling, playing the piano, gardening, flowers, making quilts and knotting comforts, embroidery, reading, paint-by-number and the recent trend of adult coloring books.
Elda was preceeded in death by her parents, her husband David T. Schmidt, her brothers Anton (Betty), Arnold (Elsie), Marvin, Irvin, her sisters Linda (Gus) Frey and Adina (Roy) Schmidt.
Survivors include her step-sons Donald L. and wife (Marlene, d) Schmidt, Lewis and wife Dorothy Schmidt, her brother Orlando Fast (Maxine, d) and sister Ruth (Howard Reather, d) Fast. Elda is also survived by seven grandchildren: Michael, Gregory, Lori, Steve (Lynn), Brian, Daryn (Deidre), Lisa (Carl) and twelve great-grandchildren: Ryan, Austin, Evan, Collin, Landon, Savanna, Leah, Dara, Halle, Malia, Breslin, and Mira, as well as many nieces and nephews.
Graveside committal service will be 3:00 p.m., Tuesday, July 10, 2018 at Goessel Mennonite Church Cemetery in Goessel, Kansas. A memorial service will be 4:00 p.m., Tuesday at First Mennonite Church in Newton with Pastor Kay Schroeder presiding. Visitation will be 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Monday at Petersen Funeral Home with the family receiving friends from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at Petersen Funeral Home.
Memorials are suggested to First Mennonite Church Hymnal Fund or Kidron Bethel Benevolent fund in care of Petersen Funeral Home.
The Lord has been good to me. Don’t grieve when I’m gone, because I want to sing praises to Him. Elda Schmidt, August 30, 2010