Col. Richard H.
Schmidt, USAF (Ret.)
Col. Richard H. Schmidt, USAF (Ret.), 77, passed away Monday, April 10, 2006,
at his home near Lewisburg, West Virginia.
Richard was born in Wheeling and graduated from Wheeling High School. He
received his bachelorís degree from West Virginia University, completed post-graduate
work at Ohio State University, the Illinois Institute of Technology and the
Air Force Institute of Technology.
Richard served 29 years in the military, first in Army National Guard in
college, then in the USAF as a pilot and squadron commander, retiring with
the rank of colonel. During his Air Force career he was stationed in
locations as diverse as Anchorage, Alaska; Illinois Institute of Technology,
Chicago; Ubon, Thailand; and Evreux, France. As a pilot he spent many years
flying C-130 aircraft in a variety of models. Richard also flew C-5A aircraft
prior to managing the maintenance complex for C-5s at Dover Air Force base in
Delaware. During this time, his unit received the Daedalian Award for the
best aircraft maintenance in the USAF.
During his Air Force career Dick was check qualified in 12 different aircraft
and flew over five continents. He and his wife, Margaret, lived in 22
different houses while raising four daughters. While stationed in France he
participated in the Congo Airlift; he was a member of the recovery team of
the Enos space shot in the early 1960s; he flew decoy missions in the Berlin
Air Corridor in the late 1950s; and piloted C-130 gunships for a year in
After retirement from the Air Force, Dick served as industrial engineering
manager, technical manager, and quality assurance manager for BG Goodrich
Aerospace in Union. After his second retirement, he served as the 1994
national president of Ruritan National. He was appointed by Gov. Caperton and
again by Gov. Underwood to the West Virginia Commission for National and
Community Service. He was a member of the district board of Ohio-West
Virginia YMCA, and was on the Mission West Virginia board of directors. Rich
also served as co-chairman of the North House Restoration Committee in
Lewisburg. He and his wife have been longtime members of St. James Episcopal
He was a brave and loyal servant of God and country, beloved husband, father
and grandfather, and friend to all he met. He will be sadly missed.
In addition to his wife, Margaret, Richard is survived by his four daughters,
Jaine (Harry) Wyatt of Toledo, Ohio, Deborah (J. David Scott) Schmidt of
Lewisburg, Patricia (James) Kassel of Louisville, Ky., and Rachel (Phillip
Schuler) Schmidt of Takoma Park, Md.; eight grandchildren, Ian and Tristan
Wyatt, Mae and Will Scott, Courtney, Jordan and Margaret Kassel, and Amelia
Schuler; in-laws, Mikki Schmidt of Colorado Springs, Colo., Bill Shaffer of
Baton Rouge, La., Phyllis Tuckwiller of Lewisburg, Robert and Rachel Provence
of Charlotte, N.C., and David Tuckwiller of Lewisburg; and a multitude of
beloved friends around the globe.
Memorial service will be 2 p.m. Sunday, April 23, at St. James Episcopal
Church, Lewisburg. Interment will be held at Calvary United Methodist Church
in the Richlands after which the family will receive visitors.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that donations be made in his name to
either Mission West Virginia, 468B Midland Trail, Hurricane, WV 25526 or the
Ohio-West Virginia YMCA, Camp Horseshoe, Route 2, Box 138, St. George, WV
McCraw Funeral Home, Lewisburg, is in charge of arrangements.