Cover photo for Howard Schmidt's Obituary
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1941 Howard 2024

Howard Schmidt

January 13, 1941 — April 13, 2024

Howard John Schmidt, age 83, died peacefully April 13, 2024 in Newton, KS, his hometown since the age of 6. He was born January 13th, 1941 to John F. and Selma Schmidt in Hutchinson, KS.

Growing up, he had many interesting experiences moving with his sisters and parents to various towns in Ohio, Colorado, and Kansas where his father was called to pastor a church, and later to be curator of the Kauffman Museum and Historical Library in North Newton. As a young child, Howard learned to have fun along with the virtue of hard work-delivering eggs to neighbors, raising rabbits, delivering papers, hanging out with campus kids with their maps and hideouts, working on a farm, and building model airplanes. He enjoyed baseball in elementary school, but in high school and college his passion was football, playing on both the Newton High School and the Bethel College football teams. In Newton High School he lettered in both football and track and was involved in student government (officer), Latin Club and academics (Scholarship pins). High school yearbook comments by classmates most often referred to his leadership, academic and athletic skills and personality.Involvement in student government continued in college.

Two summers during college he worked on harvest crews in Montana. He had many good memories of Bethel, playing football, student council participation, convocation, classes, and working on the Bethel grounds. He majored in Natural Sciences, graduating in 1963.

His first year of teaching High School Math and Physics was in Henderson, Nebraska. It was said he burned up the road to Bethel every weekend to see his fiancée, Marilyn Foth. He returned to Newton, teaching 6 years at Newton High School. He earned a Masters in Education degree from Emporia State University. After working summers in the yard at Prestressed Concrete, Inc., he took a full-time position with Prestressed, building bridges and buildings. After 41 fulfilling years, he retired in 2010 as Vice President of Production.

Being an avid supporter of Bethel and enjoying football, led to Howard promoting athletics at Bethel as Booster Club President. He oversaw the developing of benches to lockers in Goering Hall and lockers and weight rooms for various sports. One of his proudest accomplishments was seeing the Bethel College stadium complex develop during his tenure at Prestressed Concrete, so he could oversee the construction and erection of the stadium seating risers.

On June 5, 1965, Howard married his college sweetheart, Marilyn Foth from Cordell, Oklahoma. They enjoyed years of skiing in Colorado with friends, traveling in Europe with a group of teachers, a trip to China with Jim and Shirley Goering and the Holy Land trip with Patty Shelly, as well as traveling in the US and Mexico. The Kasper Broadway trips to New York were a highlight for over 30 years. A major car accident in 1992 did not keep them from continuing to travel. They always enjoyed many family Thanksgiving visits to Beaver Lake in Arkansas and trips to Ponca City and Tulsa, OK to spend holidays with family. A couple's book club with WSU professors and Wichita teachers offered them a challenge and opportunity to expand their friendships. Attending Bethel games and events, plays, movies, playing games with friends, eating out and delivering books to Kidron Bethel from Newton Public Library kept them active. Howard always commented how much he enjoyed going out with friends.

Howard's involvement with Lion's Club projects gave him satisfaction. He was a capable man who loved working outdoors, especially on the lawn.

His childhood interest in models expanded in adulthood to cars and radio control cars, airplanes, and boats. He was featured in the Prestressed Concrete newsletter once for hitting the ground as a model plane reversed course and dive bombed him.

Accomplishments aside, Howard was a quiet, intelligent person who cared about people and didn't make a show of it. His kindness and gentleness were defining characteristics observed by others as well as his hearty laugh and great sense of humor. Young children gave him much joy. His witty remarks were a joy. His resilience and toughness in response to physical setbacks were admirable.

Howard was preceded in death by his parents, John F. and Selma Schmidt and his sister Angela Boho. Survivors include his wife Marilyn Schmidt; sisters: Dee Schmidt of Wichita, KS, Lynette June and husband Howard House of Vineland, Ontario, Canada: sister and brother-in-law: Lois and Robert Corbin of Ponca City, OK, brother-in-law Robert Boho; nephews: Brett House of New York City and Toronto, Canada; niece Krista Lynn House and husband Ern Bieman (children Ollie and Ben Bieman) of Ottawa, Ontario Canada; Jason and wife Carey Corbin (sons Caleb and Parker) of Tulsa, Ryan and wife Laura Corbin (children Christian and Caroline) of Tulsa.

A memorial service will be  held on June 1, 2024, at 11:00 am at Bethel College Mennonite Church.

Memorials may be made to Bethel College Booster Club or Newton Lions Club and left with Petersen Funeral Home.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Howard Schmidt, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Graveside Service

Monday, April 22, 2024

10:00 - 11:00 am (Central time)

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