Gladys (Hermsen) Schmidt passed away peacefully in the presence of her loving family on September 15, 2019. It is fitting that Glady’s life on earth—which was most centrally marked by her faith in Jesus Christ and her role as a mother—ended on the Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows, which commemorates the suffering of Mary on the day of her son Jesus’s death.
Glady was born in Little Chute, WI, on July 1, 1928, to John and Delia Hermsen. She was the second of nine children, including Reg (Nancy, deceased) Hermsen, Joan (Larry, deceased) Milhaupt, Audrey (Bill, deceased) Pire, Lois deceased (Tom) Knutson, Ginny (Rudy, deceased) Hermus, Lori (Tom, deceased) Staniak, Don (Diane) Hermsen, and Roger (Pat) Hermsen. Throughout her life Glady was particularly close to her siblings, with whom she spent countless hours laughing and enjoying each other’s company.
Glady married Arthur J. (Art) Schmidt in 1948, and they started an extraordinary marriage and life together that lasted over 70 years until Art’s death just 11 weeks ago. They were the proud parents of nine children, including Thomas (Mary), Mary Kay (William) Kessenich, Barbara (Robert) Steinbrunn, James (Valerie), John (Julie), Tim (Jill), Margaret (William) Kelley, Carol (Neil) Kelley and Ann (James) Anholzer. They had 35 grandchildren and 27 great grandchildren.
When Art and his brother Ray founded the Schmidt Brothers Oil Company in 1951, Glady became the first “employee,” though she often observed over the years that she never saw a paycheck. She kept the company’s books and took care of endless details from her home—all the while raising a growing family. Anyone who talked with Art about the early years of the company that today is known as US Venture, Inc., surely heard many a story of Glady’s essential contributions to its success. She and Art were full partners in all that they did, through the many good times with which they were blessed and the inevitable challenges of life.
Glady’s principal vocation in life was as wife and mother, and in those roles she was a towering success. She loved her family fully, deeply and intentionally. Among her many gifts, Glady was able to make every person feel specially and individually loved. Every member of her family knew, they just knew, that he or she was special to Glady—because each person, as a unique individual, genuinely was.
Along with her loving nature and gentle spirit, Glady’s family and friends will also remember her tireless work ethic and endless capacity to help and serve others without a trace of selfishness. And they will treasure her quick wit, her eagerness to laugh, and her love for a good story—particularly ones about her husband or children and their many good times. Glady loved the Green Bay Packers, and everyone knew that the quickest way to a short conversation with her was to call her during a game. Her rare displays of ill temper could be traced to miscues by her beloved Packers.
Glady lived a life full of genuine grace grounded in her devotion to her Christian faith. Glady’s faith was quiet in words but unmistakable in deeds. She supported many charities without seeking credit; she supported friends and family without seeking credit. She treated all people, friends and strangers, with love and respect. Hers was a humble and open heart. And she prayed, she always prayed for the sick and needy. She lovingly and steadfastly cared for her husband while he suffered from dementia in his late years and was by his side when he passed away. She kept a constant good spirit by taking walks and praying the Rosary. While her family grieves over the loss of Glady, they take comfort from knowing that she will always live in their memories as a role model for grace in all things.
Glady and her family lived in Combined Locks for some 42 years, where they were members of St. Paul’s Parish. She and Art spent 23 winters among dear friends at the Burnt Store Colony in Punta Gorda, Florida. Late in life Glady and Art resided at Touchmark in Appleton, and the family will always be grateful for the support and care provided by the Touchmark staff. Glady’s family is especially grateful to Sherrie Eichinger, who lovingly cared for Glady; to Jen Schrader, who was also a devoted caregiver; and to Dr. Anthony Phillips, Becky Hermsen, and the whole staff at the ThedaCare Cancer Center. Glady was devoted daughter-in-law to Art’s parents, Albert and Margaret Schmidt; and she was a loving sister-in-law to Art’s siblings, including Ray (Carol, deceased; Laverne), William, deceasedm “Bill” (Barbara), Helen (Ignatius, deceased) Lenz, Ellie (Marvin) Hietpas, Mary Ann (Frank, deceased) AustinAustin, Margaret (Edward) Menzer, and Florence (William Michael) McKenna. Glady was also particularly grateful for the friendship of Martha McGinnis, whom she loved dearly.
There will be a visitation at St. Bernard Catholic Church, 1617 W. Pine St., Appleton, WI, from 4:30-6:30 pm on Sunday, September 22, 2019 followed by the Rosary at 6:30 pm. Visitation will continue from 9:00-10:45 am at church on Monday followed by the Mass of Christian Burial at 11:00 am. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Women’s Care Center (supportwomenscarecenter.org).