Jeanne Schmidt, 99, Ottawa, died peacefully on April 15, 2020.
Private family graveside services will be 11 a.m. Tuesday, April 21, 2020, at Highland Cemetery, Ottawa. The family asks that those friends wanting to be a part of Jeanne’s service go to Lamb-Roberts Funeral Facebook page and watch the service there in order to adhere to the statewide Stay at Home order. Memorial contributions to First Baptist Church of Ottawa sent c/o the Lamb-Roberts Funeral Home, P.O. Box 14, Ottawa, KS 66067. Condolences to the family may be sent through www.lamb-roberts.com
Caroline Jeanne Ward Schmidt was born in Bonifay, Florida, on Oct. 28, 1920, and lived most of her life in Ottawa, Kansas.
She was a member of First Baptist Church of Ottawa for over 60 years, serving as a Sunday School teacher and nursery attendant. She was a member of the Homebuilders Sunday School class and the Searcher’s Circle, and was active in Guild while her daughters were growing up. She was also a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution.
Jeanne received a B.S. degree in Chemistry from Ottawa University, where she met Raymond Stanley Schmidt. During her college years, she worked at the Sunflower Ordnance Works near DeSoto, Kansas ,to help the war effort.
Ray enlisted in the Navy after Pearl Harbor, and Jeanne received a teaching fellowship at Smith College, Northampton, Massachusetts, earning a master’s degree in chemistry in 1945. She then worked at Bausch & Lomb Optical Company in Rochester, New York. She vividly recalled the day the newspaper headlines screamed “The Atom is Split,” and having lunch with a fellow female scientist that day who only then realized she had been working on the Manhattan Project. Reminiscing about that time, Jeanne noted that chemistry was not the usual choice for girls in those days, but no one ever told her “you can’t do that, you’re a girl.”
For Jeanne, and clearly many other women, World War II opened up tremendous opportunities that changed their lives just as serving in the war did for the men. Jeanne’s experiences and her quiet confidence provided ongoing encouragement for her daughters and grandchildren to do their best with their own abilities.
Ray and Jeanne were married on March 31, 1946, at the Federated Church in Ottawa, Kansas. They moved to California while Ray pursued his business degree and Jeanne taught chemistry at UCLA. After the birth of their first daughter, they returned to Ottawa. Three more daughters followed, and Jeanne delighted in the care and education of them and their children and grandchildren.
Jeanne loved her family and was always available to listen to the children and encourage them. The family home in Ottawa was a haven of love and support, and Christmas and summer visits are remembered fondly by the grandchildren as very special times. She is remembered by her daughters and grandchildren as a constant presence of quiet love for her family.
Jeanne was preceded in death by Ray, her husband of 68 years; parents, Max and Athena Ward of Ottawa, Kansas; brother, Donald Ward; sons-in-law, Barry Wright and John Roush.
Jeanne is survived by her four daughters, Beverly Wright, Nancy Roush (Ronald Aucutt), Patti Wood (Scott) and Linda Schroeder (Robert); eight grandchildren, Jason Wright (Heather), Travis Fogwell, Shannon Hoogerheide (Dave), Cody Fogwell (Ashley), Jessica O’Toole (Sean), Catherine Jeanne Schroeder, Elizabeth Schroeder and Chloe Beeks; seven great-grandchildren, Ariadne and Ezekiel Wright, Athena and Arthur Hoogerheide, Johnathon-Patrick and Elijah-James O’Toole, and Kennedy Fogwell; sister, Maxine Holland.