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 Vietnam.

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 Church, Lewisburg.

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 26287.

McCraw Funeral Home, Lewisburg, is in charge of arrangements.




Courtesy of:

© 2006 The Register-Herald, P.O. Box 2398, Beckley, WV 25802, April 14, 2006




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