Martha Mae Schmidt

April 2, 1951April 26, 2020

Martha Mae (Smith) Schmidt (April 2, 1951- April 26, 2020) was a graduate of Southwest High School’s class of 1969.

She earned her undergraduate degree at Missouri Valley College, and her master’s degree at the University of Central Missouri in Special Education. She worked for Olathe School District for 40 years as a Career Transition teacher, working with at-risk and special needs youth, helping them to serve as volunteers or be employed.

She was a breast cancer survivor (2016), but an unrelated cancer surfaced in 2019, which caused her death.

She was preceded in death by her son Justin Stratton (2004), and her parents Lorraine and Ralph Smith. She is survived by her husband Steve Schmidt, Lili Besch-Kramer (“my best friend, and the biggest joy of my life”), Fara Rose (“with whom I had the good fortune of caring for my mother, and who became my friend and I will always feel indebted to her”), her cousin Marcia Kells (“who cared for me; I felt like we were sisters”), and many other Dear Friends (“who helped me spiritually, medically, and in their friendship”). In

lieu of flowers, gifts may be made to a charity of your choice.

A small private graveside committal service will be held at Mount Moriah Cemetery. This will be Livestreamed on Facebook on Wednesday, April 29th at 11:00am:


  • Ralph Smith, Father (deceased)
  • Lorraine (Emde) Smith, Mother (deceased)
  • Justin Stratton, Son (deceased)
  • Steve Schmidt, Husband
  • Lili Besch-Kramer, Best Friend
  • Fara Rose, Close Friend
  • Marcia Kells, Cousin


  • Private Graveside Committal Service - Facebook Livestreamed:

    Wednesday, April 29, 2020


Martha Mae Schmidt

have a memory or condolence to add?

Bill Osborn

April 30, 2020

I remember the day Marti applied for the position at the Vocational School. I found her to be knowledgeable, considerate, and most of all, caring for students. She never wavered from those qualities during the time we worked together. I considered her a colleague and a friend. She will be missed. My thoughts remain with her family and friends.

Terri Jacobs

April 30, 2020

Marti and I crossed paths not only in the Olathe School District in various Special Ed Programs, I also worked with Steve at the Vocational School. Even if you weren't working in the summer you always came by to check on your kids! You were a joy to work with, be around and always visit with. I'm sorry I missed the service earlier today, I just saw this notification. You always have/had such a positive impact on the people you touched. Terri Jacobs

Bill Kidder

April 29, 2020

I first met Marti when I worked at Indian Trail. She would come over from South to do transition meetings. We became friends. Loved her sense of humor. We had good times at inservice meetings. She could be a real hoot. Later we worked together at Olathe East. Marti was a brave lady. She will truly be missed.

Laurel Herrington

April 29, 2020

Marti and I had a lot of laughs together.
I also worked with the Olathe School District for 34 years. I was Receptionist at the District Office and Olathe South High School. She was a very special person and loved the children and co-workers she associated with. She will be missed. So sorry for your loss.

Phyllis Tormey

April 29, 2020

Marti was one of the most fascinating and complex people I have ever met! I think “enigma” would likely describe her! When she entered a room, she swooped into a room and immediately, all attention, all eyes were on her…rather like Loretta Young. If she ever wore a big, full skirt (and I’m sure she did, once upon a time), it would swirl into the room first and then swiftly she would follow…with a beautiful smile -- actually, with a mischievous grin that made one wonder what she might have up her sleeve.
I loved to call her, “Martha”, just to let her know that “I get you”, I love you and your energizing personality.
I’m going to miss my dear friend. I’m pretty sure there has never been and never will be another “Martha” or wonderful Marti in this world. I’m looking forward to teasing her again in Heaven (is that allowed?)
For now, “Fair well” to our beautiful, adorable, friend – we’ll meet again.

Susan McCammon

April 29, 2020

Sorry I cannot attend the service today, but I join in celebration of Marti’s life! Although bereft of my Dear Friend, I am grateful and deeply appreciative for having had her as a friend since the first grade, through grade school at Calvary Lutheran, high school at Southwest, living together the summer after our college freshman year, maid of honor at each other’s weddings, continuing friendship through careers and having children, celebrating my 50th birthday with her, attending our high school 50th reunion together, and being able to be with her during her illness. Her 40 years of teaching and serving children, youth and families has left an admirable and significant impact. Her humor, her appreciation for the dramas of human life, and her keen interest and engagement in the lives of her friends and family leave us beloved memories. As she wrote to me, “Who finds a friend has found a treasure.”

Karen Bannister

April 28, 2020

Marti was one of a kind! She has had a huge impact on my family. Upon relocating to Jo Co she quickly became a forever friend and colleague. Our time as special services staff would included her entire career with Olathe Public Schools. Marti gave her beloved horse, Corky, to my daughter, Brooke. Marti often attended Brooke’s riding sessions, lessons and competitions. Today Brooke is an equine assisted coach and continues the passion she shared with Marti. During my recent 9 month battle with breast cancer, Marti was there for me. I regret that my current immune deficiency and the covid pandemic robbed me of the opportunity to be with her recently. We did, however, share some meaningful memories via calls and texts during the last few weeks. Marti, you will always be remembered with love and smiles!

Julia Henslee

April 28, 2020

My Marti was a dear friend. Our friendship was actually kind of accidental as Marti was my boss at Olathe Schools. Through our work, though, a friendship developed in which she would always call me, “My Julia.”

I admired her generosity in helping people achieve their goals and her willingness in advocating for those who felt there were barriers to achieving those goals. She was fearless in that regard, not easily discouraged and unconcerned for how her advocacy might reflect on her in difficult situations.

My family and I were blessed to have her friendship. I will miss My Marti dearly, but am comforted in the thought that she didn’t leave us behind. She merely went on ahead of us. Our faith tells us we’ll see her again.

Gretchen Sherk

April 28, 2020

I have so many memories of working with Marti in Spring Hill as well as in Olathe. We go back too many years to count! Always an individual and free thinker and ALWAYS interested in the best for the students with whom she worked. Marti is and will be missed!

Janelle Harris

April 28, 2020

at my son's wedding to Kelsey, we were standing on dance floor
Marti said I only dance to Halsey
Sure enough, a Halsey song came on,Marti danced.

Marti, thank you for being a part of our family❤❤❤