Robert Leo Schmitt
Robert Leo Schmitt, 96, died peacefully on December 14, 2021.
Bob was born September 14, 1925, in Quincy, IL, the third son of Lawrence and Florence (Menke) Schmitt. Growing up, he played percussion in the Quincy High School Band. He frequently attended dances at the Maidrite on 12th Street until the cabaret tax was enacted in 1944. Bob worked summers in his father's business, the L.A.Schmitt Dental Lab.
Bob and his brothers, Charles and James, were all WW II veterans. Charles, the oldest brother, was serving in the Army when Bob and Jim heard the news about the Pearl Harbor attack. Bob joined the Navy in February 1944 as a high school senior. He was sent to Farragut, Idaho for boot camp. After bouts with appendicitis and then pneumonia, he was bumped back to another unit while he recovered. His original unit saw thirteen battles in which many sailors did not survive. He has always counted those medical delays as a blessing.
Shipping out from Camp Shoemaker in California, he travelled to Hawaii to await further orders. Based on his experience in the dental laboratory business in Quincy, he was assigned to a new dental laboratory which had just opened at Hickam Field, adjacent to Pearl Harbor. He served there from August 1944 to October 1945. This time was coincident with much naval action in the Pacific and the end of the war.
In October 1945 he was assigned to the Liberty ship 'Hooper Island'. Its mission was a repair ship, carrying skilled craftsmen, doctors, dentists, machine shops, equipment, and medical facilities to repair ships and treat men away from home ports. The ship transported marines to Guam and spent ten weeks in harbor at Sasebo, Japan.
After the war Bob enrolled at Quincy College for two years, where he met Ruth Crandall, his future bride. Ruth was attending QC on scholarship from Monroe City, MO. They were married on May 13th 1950. The couple had four children, from 1951 to 1960, two boys and two girls. He began working at the dental lab with his father and brother, Charles. He later opened the Quincy Dental Clinic with Dr. Dave Wexler and provided services for more than twenty years.
His main hobby was boating and being on the river. The first skis he had were a home-made pair that he built with his brother Charles. Bob first joined the Quincy Boat Club in 1946.
In 1972, Bob and Ruth purchased ten acres of partly wooded property along the bluff. They cleared the hilltop and built their home. The view was amazing. Bob lived there until 2017.
After the children were on their own Bob and Ruth continued to travel, visiting Switzerland and Israel internationally and across the US with their travel trailer. Bob continued to water ski until the year 2000. He was an avid boater, designing and building his own 40 foot houseboat in 1993. He was a member of the Q-City Squares, the Travlin' Trompers, and a lifetime member of the Quincy Boat Club.
Bob was an active member of St. Boniface, St. Francis, St. Johns and Blessed Sacrament parishes through his life. Bob supported Ruth's music ministry and they both provided hundreds of funeral luncheons over twenty years. Bob and Ruth hosted numerous prayer and bible study meetings at their home during the 1970's.
He is survived by his brother Jim Schmitt of Peoria, IL, children Richard (Cathy) Schmitt of Quincy, Rita Schmitt of Quincy, Rosemary (Jim) Painter of South Padre Island, TX, and Raymond (Sara) Schmitt of Raleigh, NC. He is also survived by six grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren.
Bob was preceded in death by his wife, Ruth (Crandall) Schmitt in 2014 and his brother, Charles Schmitt.
He was faithful to his country and served in the WW II navy, faithful to his wife of 64 years, faithful to the Lord and devoted to his family. We honor his memory.
Funeral services will be on Tuesday, December 21, 2021 at 10:00 a.m. at Blessed Sacrament Church. Interment will be in Calvary Cemetery. Visitation: Monday, December 20, 5-7 PM at Duker-Haugh Funeral Home.
Memorial donations may be made to Blessed Sacrament Church or the charity of your choice.
- My sympathy to Bob's family. I enjoyed his fellowship at the Quincy Boat Club. The club flag is flying at half mast in his honor. Fair winds and following seas old friend.
Mark A. Wiewel
- Richard & Family:
I am very sorry for your loss.
Eternal Rest Bob.
Fr. Zach Edgar
- From all of us at the Veterans Home, we're sorry for your loss. Know that Bob will be remembered at Mass here at our chapel very soon. May God grant Him eternal rest.
- So many memories with the prayer meetings and traveling to Charismatic conferences with Bob and Ruth. Such beautiful calming friends.I also saw Bob at Mass at Blessed Sacrament. Miss you Rose and Rita too. My prayers join you.
- Ray snd Sara.
So sorry for your loss