Jerry Neal Schmidt, age 80, passed away on October 31, 2021, in Austin, Texas. Jerry was born November 18, 1940, in Holton, Kansas, son of Jesse and Maybelle Schmidt. He was baptized in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost on July 9, 1944.
Jerry grew up on the family farm outside the small town of Guide Rock, Nebraska. He was the oldest of four sons. Life on the farm consisted of daily chores including milking the cows, harvesting the crops, and tending the garden.
Jerry attended Eckley Consolidated School and later Guide Rock High School after Eckley closed. On June 13th, 1954, Jerry was confirmed at Calvary Lutheran Church in Rosemont, NE. During high school, Jerry played football and basketball and ran track. He graduated in 1958. After high school, he worked in Wyoming driving a truck for a beet factory. Shortly thereafter, Jerry enlisted in the United States Navy. After basic training in San Diego, he trained as an Electronics Technician and was stationed aboard the USS Spikefish out of Key West, Florida. He married Claire Simpson. He later attended and graduated from the Naval Nuclear Power School in Groton, CT. During his eight years of active duty, he served on five different submarines and rose to the rank of Petty Officer – 1st Class. Jerry’s sons Mike and Steve were born during his time in the Navy.
After his naval service, Jerry returned to Nebraska. where he worked as an engineer at Hastings Industries. He and Claire divorced. On September 7th, 1973, Jerry married Diana Stoner Hendrickson. The couple lived in Hastings, NE along with Diana’s son, Todd. Their daughter Becky was born in Hastings. The family then moved to Oklahoma City, OK where Jerry worked as a quality control engineer at Macklanburg-Duncan. In 1996, they moved to Austin, Texas where Jerry opened Curio Corner Books, a used, out-of-print bookstore, specializing in Texas history.
Jerry enjoyed attending garage and estate sales, collecting antiques, and reading. He was a very active member at St. Paul Lutheran Church, serving and volunteering in a variety of capacities.
He is preceded in death by his parents, brother Donald Schmidt, and sister-in-law Carolyn Schmidt.
He is survived by his wife Diana, sons Mike Schmidt (Des Moines, IA), Steve Schmidt and his wife Rachel (Crete, NE), step-son Todd Hendrickson and his wife Janis (Marysville, OH), daughter Becky White and her husband Boyd (Little Elm, TX), brothers Richard Schmidt and his companion Elda Patton (Hastings, NE), David Schmidt and his wife Janet (Demopolis, AL), eleven grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.
A memorial service will be held on Sunday, November 7th, 2021, at 2:00PM at St. Paul Lutheran Church located at 3501 Red River Street, Austin, TX 78705-1899.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be sent to St. Paul Lutheran Church, 3501 Red River Street, Austin, TX 78704-1899.