Saturday, June 6, 2009

Clarence Teacher: In Memory of Edward Schmidt

Clarence High School teacher Edward Schmidt passed away Thursday evening. He enriched young minds through social studies while his wife taught English down the hallway. Many of us can count as friends one of the Schmidt children, Eddie, Marilynn, Gregory, and Brian, all Clarence alumni. From the Buffalo News:

Edward A. Schmidt, a longtime teacher, arbitrator and mediator, died Thursday in Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital, Amherst, after a brief illness. He was 85.

Born in Lackawanna, Mr. Schmidt grew up in Bethlehem Park and South Buffalo and later served as a chief gunner's mate in the Navy during World War II. He was a graduate of Canisius College and a social studies teacher and coordinator at Clarence Central High School from 1953 to 1979.

Mr. Schmidt created the first black studies course for high school American Studies in New York State during the 1960s. In 1979, he was the first nonmusician at Clarence High School to be awarded the John Phillip Sousa Award for his role as "guess conductor" in conducting the school orchestra in the "William Tell Overture."

While teaching, he also ran the Edward A. Schmidt Insurance Agency. After retiring from teaching, he took on his third career as a labor relations arbitrator and mediator, and was active in that field at the time of his death.

He was on the arbitration rosters of the American Arbitration Association, New York State Public Employment Relations Board, New York State Employment Relations Board, Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, Pennsylvania Bureau of Mediation, and belonged to various professional associations, including the Labor and Employment relations Association, serving as president in 1996-97. He was named the organization's Citizen of Year in 2005.

Mr. Schmidt was also a member of the board of directors and Executive Committee of the Better Business Bureau. He headed the Personnel Committee and served in several other capacities for more than 30 years. Mr. Schmidt enjoyed boating with his wife Claire and was a member of the Sandy Beach Yacht Club and served on the board of directors and as secretary.

He was an active parishioner of St. Amelia's Catholic Church in the Town of Tonawanda.

Mr. Schmidt will also be remembered for his integrity and compassion, commitment to his family and friends, his warm charismatic way, as well as his keen wit and sense of humor. Anyone who ever met him will never forget him.

Mr. Schmidt is survived by his wife of 19 years, the former Claire Tonge; three sons,Edward, Gregory and Brian; and a daughter, Marilynn.

A Mass of Christian Burial with military honors will be offered at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday June 9, 2009 in St. Amelia's Church, 2999 Eggert Road, Town of Tonawanda.

SCHMIDT - Edward A. June 4, 2009. Beloved husband of Claire (Tonge) Schmidt; dearest father of Edward C. Schmidt (Karen Johnson), Marilynn Schmidt, Gregory (Elizabeth) Schmidt and Brian (Michele) Schmidt; loving grandfather of Michael (Kerri) Ward, Kimberly (Clifford III) Evans, Andrew and Anthony Schmidt, Jeffrey and Jonathan Schmidt, Halle Schmidt, and Joe Clark; loving great-grandfather of Clifford Evans IV. You are invited to attend Edward's Funeral Mass with military honors on Tuesday at 11:30 AM at St. Amelia's Church, 201 St. Amelia Dr. at Eggert Rd., Tonawanda, NY. Expressions of sympathy may be directed to the American Cancer Society . The MASON-SITTNEWSKI FUNERAL HOME is assisting Ed's family.


Palladio said...

Could I ask a question?

Mrs. Schmidt--who taught English--is she still with us?

She, too, was a marvel.

Palladio said...

Thanks so much. I just found her address. I owe her thanks, thirty years overdue.

Brian Myregaard said...

Brian - I'm sorry to hear of your fathers passing. My prayers are with you, Michelle, your children and the rest of your family. Your father was a very good man and you had a very long time with him - be thankful for that. You will be in my thoughtss and prayers, remain healthy & happy.