William (Bill) Schmidt was born March 21, 1953 to Paul and Helen (Fritsch) Schmidt. He attended St. Richard grade school and graduated from Swanton High School. He passed away at home on September 30, 2021 surrounded by his family. In true Bill fashion he had to have “one more” breath.
As a farm kid of the 50s he helped both in the fields and greenhouses, spending his entire career working with his family at Schmidt Brothers, Mapleview Farms, where he learned about “Schmidt time” (always late). He served as the President of Mapleview Farms and Vice-President of their subsidiary, Schmidt Bros, Inc. He was looking forward to becoming semi-retired in 2020 after the sale of the greenhouse.
On the farm he had a mathematical brain and was able to visualize any project one could think of and then able to bring those visions to reality. His many project designs were all kept in notebooks and files so he could refer to them and pinpoint problems to resolve them creatively. He also had an innate instinct to grow plants; field tomatoes, vegetable flats, baskets, or whatever you can find in a greenhouse. His strong work ethic was passed on to his children and grandchildren, leaving a legacy that speaks for itself.
He married Barbara Cleghorn on June 11, 1971 and they recently celebrated their 50th Anniversary. Together they enjoyed many trips over the years, with his favorite trips being the UP. The irony is he was an avid Buckeye fan and they enjoyed many trips to Columbus to cheer the Bucks on in the horseshoe. Bill and Barb also enjoyed the Sunshine state, Put-in-Bay and extended family vacations over their 50 years.
He and Barb raised three children and he instilled a strong work ethic in each of them as they each spent time working with him. He also enjoyed cheering them on a supporting them in all of their school and 4-H activities over the years. From a young age he enjoyed tent camping with the kids, it seems odd that his wife never had the desire to tent camp for a vacation when the kids were older. We still don’t know why. He taught us it is okay to work hard and play hard too, leading by example!
When grandkids came along, he enjoyed Sunday afternoons in the pool, playing “King of the Deck” and showing them around the farm and greenhouse. At Christmas you may find him on the floor playing with the grandchildren or maybe in a chair taking a nap in the middle of a conversation.
In his younger years Bill was a member of the Lytton Fox Hunters and Lucas County Farm Bureau, where he and Barb enjoyed the fellowship of other young farm families, who became lifelong friends. He also belonged to the Swanton Elks and is a Past Exalted Ruler, Sons of the American Legion, as well as many golf and bowling leagues over the years. He also served on the Corn Festival Committee and eventually chaired the festival.
Unfortunately, he suffered a stroke in August of 2019 and his retirement looked a little different than he expected. He wasn’t working long hours in the greenhouse or fields; he was now working on his recovery. Always a jokester he made friends at Kingston Perrysburg, where they were known as the “Three Stooges” and brought laughter to many other residents and the staff of the facility with their humor.
With a memory like no other, he could give details that would include minutes, dates, and weather. As a lifelong farmer and greenhouse operator those things mattered. These details made his storytelling humorous, because even if the story wasn’t funny, he was teased about his memory. Bill could also tell jokes like no other and bring laughter to anyone listening. Wide Mouth Frog?
He is survived by his wife Barb, his son Greg (Melanie), his daughter Jennifer (Eric) Barnes and his favorite (even if he doesn’t miss her), Dawn Davis. Grandchildren Morgan, Rayna and Mason Schmidt, Amelia, Natalie and Ben Schmidt, Travis, Kaleb, Holden and Hannah Barnes. Along with siblings Polly Berkebile, Joe (Cheryl) Schmidt, Elaine (Paul) Ramirez, Barb (Mike) Hill, Nancy (Jeff) Traudt, Jane (Larry) Doyle, Betsy (Dave) Vaughn, Lisa (Jeff) Lambert, Mike (Jenny) Schmidt. Brothers – in – law Michael and Kevin Cleghorn (Donna Keith), Sister – in – law Pam (Dennis) Winters. He is also survived by many nieces and nephews, along with great nieces and nephews.
Bill was preceded in death by his son Shane Allyn, granddaughter Lily Grace, parents Paul and Helen, sister Kathleen, in-laws Bob and Doris Cleghorn, brother-in-law Ron Berkebile and nephew Timothy Berkebile.
We are grateful for the love and support of our family, friends and the staff of many local long-term care facilities and Elara Caring Hospice. Especially Gigi, Kelly, Frieda, Brooke and Roxanne, whose love for their patients is evident in the care they provided.
Visitation will be held on Monday, October 4th from 2-8pm at Weigel Funeral Home in Swanton, funeral services will be held on Tuesday, October 5th at 11am, with visitation at 10 am. North Clinton Church in Wauseon and burial at Winameg Cemetery.
Family suggests memorial contributions can be made to Elara Caring Hospice, 3425 Executive Pkwy, Unit 206, Toledo, OH 43606 or Delta Community Fire Dept, 500 Main St, Delta, OH 43515.