Kathleen Schmitt, 79, passed away peacefully on Sunday, February 17th, in her Salina, Kansas home surrounded by family who loved her dearly.
Mildred Kathleen (Weed) Schmitt was born on January 12, 1940 in Weskan, Kansas to the late Mildred and Theodore Weed. She was the youngest of the family and grew up with three brothers, Teddy, Don, and Duane. As a young girl she learned the importance of family, faith, and community. Learning life lessons with her many cousins.
Kathleen attended Weskan High School, graduated in 1958. Soon after married the love of her life Alan Schmitt on May 24, 1958 in Weskan. From there, they set off on an adventure throughout Kansas following Alan’s work with Reece Construction. They made their home in many towns over the years but eventually they made their home in Salina, in 1968. They built their permanent home, raised their family and made many lifelong friends.
Kathleen worked a variety of jobs in her lifetime, some of which included Campus Jean Factory, the bowling alley, General Battery, and co-owner and bookkeeper for their equipment rental company. However, her most rewarding job was raising her three sons, a job that is truly never done. She made many sacrifices as they struggled to raise their young family. Though she faced many challenges in a household full of boys, she always remembered these years fondly.
She was blessed to be able to spend her retired years helping raise and play with her grandchildren. From dance recitals to ball games, music programs to swim meets, pool parties to tea parties, she was part of it all. Kathleen would take any opportunity to get the family together for pancake breakfasts, picnics, card game tournaments and holiday parties. She even invented her own holiday, Chicken Saturday, held the Saturday following Thanksgiving and celebrated by eating home-cooked, pan-fried chicken.
Kathleen and Alan spent their later years traveling, taking countless bus trips around the U.S. They also enjoyed spending time at the lake; fishing, camping, and boating. She was involved with many volunteer groups in Salina, including the food pantry and ladies sewing group.
For those who were fortunate enough to know Kathleen, she will be remembered for her kindness, dedication to, and unconditional love for her family. She cared for her son, Dennis, during his battle with Leukemia until his passing in May 2014, a loss that broke her heart. Kathleen’s legacy of strength, motherhood, and generosity is one we will all strive to emulate.
Kathleen is survived by her dedicated and loving husband of 60+ years, Alan; their children, Leonard and Kay Schmitt, Brian and Joane Schmitt; her daughter-in-law, Michelle Schmitt; her grandchildren, Jessica and David Bender, Angela and Colby Dixon, Carolyn Schmitt, Michael and Shannon Pope, Joseph and Krystin Pope; great grandchildren, Samara and Reed Bender, Teagan Pope; many nieces, nephews, extended family members and close friends and neighbors.
She was preceded in death by her son, Dennis Schmitt; her brothers, Teddy Weed and Don Weed.
We would like to thank Dr. Sandhu, Dr. Paul Johnson, the dedicated teams at Mayo Clinic, and Kindred Hospice for their care and attention provided to Kathleen in her final weeks. The support you gave her will never be forgotten.
A memorial service will be held at 10:00 am, Thursday, February 21, 2019 at Carlson-Geisendorf Funeral Home, with Pastor Jon Fillipi officiating. Inurnment of ashes will be on a later date at the Howell-Schmitt Family Cemetery near Eads, Colorado. For those who wish, memorial contributions in Kathleen’s name can be made to Saline County Senior Center Sewing Group or American Cancer Society Hope Lodge of Kansas City in care of Carlson-Geisendorf Funeral Home, 500 S. Ohio, Salina, Kansas 67401. For those not able to donate or be part of her memorial service, please remember Kathleen by planting some flowers, hugging your family tightly or frying up a batch of chicken.
For more information or to send an online condolence, visit www.carlsonfh.net or on Facebook.
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