Wayne D. Schmidt, 96, of Fergus Falls, MN, and more recently of Menno Haven, Chambersburg, PA, died May 1, 2023.
He was born July 12, 1926, at Fergus Falls, MN, the son of the late William and Elvie (Peterson) Schmidt. He was united in marriage to Iva (Reardon) Schmidt on April 5, 1947. She preceded him in death in February 2017. In addition to his parents, sisters Lorna Schmidt, Laverne Martin, brother Merle Schmidt, and granddaughter Christie Schmidt preceded him in death. He is survived by a son, Paul Schmidt and wife Susie of Orbisonia; a grandson, Alann Schmidt and wife Tracy of Orbisonia; and sisters Maxine Schmidt and Marcella Wildung, both of Fergus Falls, MN.
Wayne was a World War II veteran, entering the U.S. Navy as a teenager in 1943. He served on a transport ship taking soldiers and Japanese citizens in and out of Nagasaki, Japan in the days and weeks after an atomic bomb was detonated there. Early in his life, he delivered milk, worked on a survey crew and was an announcer on a radio station. He then started his federal career as a teletype operator for the VA in Fargo, N. D. For many years he was administrative officer at Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge near Detroit Lakes, MN. He later transferred to positions in Ohio, and finally at the Department of the Interior in Washington, DC. He was forced into early retirement by back and eye issues, but later had a picture framing business. After retirement Wayne & Iva lived for many years in McConnellsburg, PA, then eventually moved back to their home of Fergus Falls, MN. They enjoyed travelling and spent winters in Arizona. After Iva suffered several health issues Wayne lovingly served as her caretaker for many years.
Wayne was an avid collector, and he had a nationally recognized collection of toy barns. He was a dedicated supporter of agricultural history, and served for many years as secretary and historian for the Grease, Steam, and Rust Association. He was a longtime member of Lake Region Pioneer Threshermen's Association. He was a member of the Fulton County Chamber of Commerce receiving Man of The Year recognition. He was also a member of the Fulton County Historical Society, a member of the McConnellsburg Lutheran Church and later Augustana Lutheran Church in Fergus Falls, MN. He was a gifted watercolor artist, specializing in landscapes.
Service: 2:00 p.m. Monday, May 22, 2023 at Augustana Lutheran Church, Fergus Falls, MN. Visitation will be held one-hour prior to the service at the church.
Clergy: Pastor Amy Kelly
Military Participation provided by Fergus Falls American Legion Post 30 and V. F. W. Post 612
Interment: Knollwood Memorial Gardens, Fergus Falls, MN.
Arrangements provided by Olson Funeral Home in Fergus Falls, MN.
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