Dr. Arnold E. Schmidt
September 19,1934 – November 9, 2023
Dr. Arnold E. Schmidt, 89 of Union, Missouri passed away on November 9, 2023.
Dr. Schmidt (also known as Arnie) was born in Deshler, Nebraska on September 19, 1934, to Fred and Helene Schmidt. He grew up on the Schmidt family farm in Thayer County, Nebraska with ten brothers and sisters. The seeds of his humble faith were nourished on the farm.
Arnie left Thayer County as a teenager to attend Concordia High School in Seward, Nebraska, graduating in May 1952. He then continued his education at Concordia Teachers College in Seward. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in Education in May 1956. Upon graduation, he was called to serve as principal and teacher at Immanuel Lutheran School in Rosebud, Missouri. He also played the organ for services and directed the choir at Immanuel Lutheran Church.
Arnie met Ruth Heidbrink who worked in the church office. She also sang in the church choir that he directed. They got married on August 11, 1957. The Lord blessed the couple with three children over the next eleven years. Eric was born in July 1958, Julie in November 1959, and Jenny in February 1968.
Arnie continued his service at Immanuel Lutheran in Rosebud for more than ten years, leaving for one year in 1967 when he received an Experienced Teacher Fellowship from the US Department of Education. He spent twelve months of intense study with the Catholic nuns at Clarke College in Dubuque, Iowa, developing skills for instruction in remedial reading. He would later use those skills back at Immanuel Lutheran School, and then in the Parkway School District. He received a Master of Arts degree in August 1968 for his education at Clarke College as part of the Experienced Teacher Fellowship.
During those years in Rosebud, while serving at Immanuel Lutheran Church and School, he started taking classes at the University of Missouri – Columbia. The University of Missouri conferred the Master of Education degree to Arnie in August of 1967. He continued his education for most of his adult life.
Back in Missouri for the 1968-69 school year at Immanuel Lutheran, he began looking toward putting his remedial reading education into practice, which led him to take a position at the Parkway School District in 1969. He served as a reading specialist there for the next several years.
Arnie moved his family to Union, Missouri in 1969 when he accepted the teaching position at Parkway School District. While at Parkway School District he also continued his own education and earned a Ph.D. in Education from St. Louis University in 1975.
After his years at Parkway, Arnie continued his career on the editorial staff at Concordia Publishing House in St. Louis from 1977-2000. He served as editor of day school materials, editor of Sunday School materials, and finally as director of educational services. He was part of the team creating Sunday School and day school education materials for countries in Europe and was invited on a mission trip to Hungary and Czechoslovakia during this time.
He is survived by his wife, Ruth Schmidt (nee Heidbrink) of Union; one son, Eric Schmidt (Paula Manning) of Texas; two daughters: Julie Price (Stan) of Union, Missouri and Jennifer Klenke (Don) of Union, Missouri; six grandchildren: Harrison Schmidt, Jessica Dingley (Jeff), Tyler Price (Megan), Emma Klenke (Spencer Tyminski), Lydia Dace (Dakota), and Eli Klenke; 7 great-grandchildren; one sister Frances Drews of Illinois and two brothers: Fred Schmidt of Nebraska and Marvin Schmidt (Helen) of Kansas; sister-in-law Claudine Schmidt of Nebraska; along with nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.
Funeral services were held on November 14, 2023 at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Union, Missouri, with Rev. Mathew Hayter officiating. Burial followed in the church cemetery.
Memorial donations may be made to St. Paul Lutheran Church, 208 W. Spring Avenue, Union, MO 63084.