Donald C. Schmidt

June 16, 1940September 23, 2014

Donald Cuyler Schmidt, 74, passed away peacefully in his sleep on September 23, 2014. He is predeceased by his loving wife Julie Anne (nee: Edwards) Schmidt and survived by his sister Mauvette (nee: Schmidt) Adams and brother Jordan. He is also survived by many nephews and nieces and grand-nephews and nieces all who loved him dearly. After graduating from Romeo High School, Don spent his adult life in the waters around the world and in our Great Lakes. He retired honorably from the United States Coast Guard in 2000, as a Chief Boatswain’s Mate, after serving over 41 years as a serviceman and a reservist. He owned and operated a marine rescue and salvage operation in Harrison Township and was a fixture on the lakes. His Tug Boat the Julie Anne (named after his wife) was the fastest and strongest tug in her class on the Great Lakes for many years, and won countless trophies from the Marine Day Tug Boat Races between the United States and Canada. Don was a great fisherman, knew all the best spots and told tales that were both wonderful to listen to and hard to believe… His sense of humor was unrivaled and he had a heart of gold. Don went out of his way to help others by participating in charitable events, as a member of the Old Crowd, and offering a loving home to many forgotten cats and dogs along the way. Don Schmidt will be greatly missed by his family, friends, fellow servicemen, and many others in the community. When you think of him over the coming weeks and months don’t think of him as gone, instead, think of him as gone fishing. Please share a memory or two with the family at


Donald C. Schmidt

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February 12, 2015

I was broken hearted when i read in a USCG newsletter my good friend had passed away. I first met Don in 1972 when I was stationed at USCG Air Station Detroit. I would take leave to work with him or fly a search or fly divers and parts to him. He was a great man and a good friend. He will be greatly missed.

October 29, 2014

Along time friend, although after Romeo high school I didn't see much of you. Wish I had known what a celebrity you are! And I know I would have enjoyed hearing your stories. Sorry I missed them. Diana Kaiser

James Tyler

October 15, 2014

I remember Don well. He was a very witty and outgoing guy. He was into outdoor stuff(Scouting) during our times together as students at R.H.S. Don certainly used his zest for life well by helping others to enjoy Gods out of doors gift to others.

October 14, 2014

Farewell my friend. See you on the water. Bill Balfour

October 7, 2014

To Don's Family--my sincere Sympathy for your loss. To Don's friends, who perhaps did not get to say goodbye. Remember the last time you talked with Don, enjoyed lunch with him, or just a kind gesture of his friendship and how much you understood he asked nothing in return. He did not choose to leave us. Don always had story's to share, that is for sure. Funny, sad and exciting. Always worth listening to. Never ending Dreams to yet explore one day when he would ever find the time, and, he had more than most of us. You will be Dearly missed my Friend-----You raised the bar pretty high for the rest of us to reach. Rest in peace my Friend. Sue Piper

Laura dindorf

October 5, 2014

I am sadder than sad to hear of Dons passing... He was, Is, and will always be a part of me.... RIP Don.... I will miss you ..

Case Delange

September 30, 2014

I met Don at the young age of 12 when he tracked me down for sailing to fast in the Clinton River and throwing to big of a wake ( those were the flooding years). Over time Don became a close friend, a go to guy, a guy that stood up for his freinds know matter what people said or did. Don even delivered a fresh turkey to my home on Thanksgiving eve in a bad early MI snow storm. Rest easy my freind - its your turn to relax and let God direct your way.

gordon baglaj

September 29, 2014

I've had lunch on a regular basis with Don for about the last 2 years. Since he's a celebrity he always wanted to meet at an in-conspicuous location. Many times during the week, we'd meet at North Star Sail Club, just down the road from Michigan Marine Salvage. During the week, I'd make sure there was nothing going on, and we'd have lunch catered in with the whole place to ourselves.

Otherwise, Don always had me drive him to a Wendy's restaurant. He'd make me pass 2 Wendy's just to get out of town for lunch. This was because, every where we went in the local area, people knew him, and he didn't want to be bothered with (what I assumed was) signing autographs (or answering questions).

Yes, Don was a Very Humble Man. He was well known and well liked by all of the Public Officials. However, he always kept that part of his life to himself, and never flaunted it.

Don taught me a lot about the lake, and those of us (me included) who happened to be rescued will always refer to him as "Uncle DON"

This man was a true legend. His smile & laughter was beyond belief. However, if you crossed him, he'd put you in your rightful place.

His TRUE stories go beyond fiction.

His experience goes beyond anything imaginable.

We lost one of the truly "Good Guys" here. I will never forget.

Don Ault

September 29, 2014

Sorry to hear about Dons passing I've known him for over 35 years he was a Icon on the river and won't be forgotten rest in peace.

Gordon Baglaj

September 29, 2014

Don's been a legend on the Clinton River since I can remember. I recall him responding to a capsized vessel in the lake while local Law Enforcement vessels were also on scene. A frantic mother was screaming that her young child was trapped under the overturned boat. Don didn't hesitate. He jumped into the water & dove under the boat, and from what I remember provided a happy ending to the ordeal.