Christopher Richard Schmitt
February 24, 1975 – April 9, 2020
Christopher Richard Schmitt, 45, died April 9, 2020, at home in Austin, TX. At 6’7”, he was the tallest person in his immediate family, much to his older brother’s chagrin. He considered it a “win” to get someone to laugh, and he won many times. He accomplished getting his family members to laugh until they cried, or telling a joke, right as someone was taking a drink to have it coming out of their nose from laughter (so embarrassing, and, yet, so hilarious).
Christopher was loveable, humble, kind, and generous. He loved his girlfriend and their shared family. He loved doing whatever his family would be doing from watching Florida State sports, to visiting each other, to playing card and board games (Tripoley was a family favorite), to hanging out, to visiting family favorites such as Disney World or the beach, or having new adventures with them around the country. He was the best Uncle to his nephews and nieces. He would find out what the kids would want for their birthdays or Christmas and spoil them rotten. If he didn’t have a gift idea, he would research for the perfect gift for them. His new baby gifts were on point.
Christopher loved learning. He loved science fiction, including Doctor Who, Classic Star Wars, and Star Trek. He loved wearing his Chewbacca costume at different events, where he would happily have his picture taken with other science fiction fans. He always had a good story to share from wearing that costume. He was an expert in Web design, authoring many books on the subject, and loved how the internet could help people. Most of all, he wanted any one that came into contact with him to be comfortable and at ease. He was an incredible human being all the way around.
Christopher was born February 24, 1975, in Tallahassee, FL. He was the son of Richard and Meg Schmitt. He graduated from Leon High School in 1993. He earned an Undergraduate Degree from Florida State University in Fine Arts with emphasis in Graphic Design. He also earned a Master’s Degree from Florida State University in Communication for Interactive and New Communication Technologies and a Graduate Certificate in Project Management from FSU’s College of Communication. Christopher authored many books on web design, most notably the “CSS Cookbook” for O’Reilly Publishing. He produced and led the NonBreaking Space Show podcast, which discussed web design and related issues. Through his company, Heatvision, he hosted web-related professional conferences around the world, improved the accessibility and structure of his clients’ websites, and advocated for a more inclusive Web.
Christopher is preceded in death by his mother, Meg Schmitt; his grandparents, Elizabeth and Karl Schmitt, and Inez and Harry Young; and his uncle, Daniel Schmitt.
He is survived by his girlfriend, Arianne Stiles, and her two sons, Julien and Gabe. His father and stepmother, Richard and Sara Schmitt of Cartersville, GA; two brothers, Paul (Teri) Schmitt of Merrimack, NH, and David (Margot) Schmitt of Oviedo, FL; sister, Tiffany (Brian) Gokey of Cartersville, GA; two stepsisters, Melissa Hurst of Austin, TX, and Jessica Alvarez of Tampa, FL. He is also survived by his 13 nephews and nieces, Nick, Elisabeth, Matthew, Mary, Michael, and Cecilia Schmitt; Ryan, Megan, and Meredith Schmitt; Gianna, Lillian, Robert, and Natalie Gokey.
Visitation will be held Tuesday, June 23, 2020 from 5-7pm at Culley's MeadowWood Funeral Home, 1737 Riggins Road, Tallahassee, Florida 32308. Visitation will be broadcast for those who cannot attend. Links will be posted immediately prior at twitter.com/teleject . The Funeral Mass will be held Wednesday, June 24, 2020 at 10am at the Co-Cathedral of St. Thomas More, 900 W. Tennessee Street, Tallahassee, Florida 32304 with graveside services to immediately follow at MeadowWood Memorial Park, 700 Timberlane Road, Tallahassee, Florida 32312. The Funeral Mass will be recorded for those who cannot attend. Watch for a link on the St. Thomas More site https://www.cocathedral.com/ to appear by noon EDT. For those who will be in attendance at the church, face masks are required.
In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate memorial donations be made to the Children’s Organ Transplant Association (https://cota.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/CheckDonationForm.pdf) or the non-profit group, Knowbility (https://knowbility.org/donate)
Tuesday, June 23, 2020
Wednesday, June 24, 2020
Wednesday, June 24, 2020
Christopher Richard Schmitt
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June 22, 2020
Gosh, I have so many memories with the Schmitt family. I grew up with his sister Tiffany and our moms were best friends, so we’d have slumber parties and pizza parties and I got to be around this awesome family a lot. As a kid I can remember Christopher being super funny, great at board games, always kind and a great brother to Tiffany. I knew Chris was incredibly intelligent (it runs in his family), and that he would go on to do really important things in the world, and he absolutely did! My heart breaks that he had to leave so soon. I love you Schmitt family, so much, and I am praying for peace during this unimaginably difficult time. Sending so much love to all of you.
June 22, 2020
Christopher was such a quiet, confident, gentle giant. His mother loved him so and was so proud of him. His Dad burst with pride when he gave me a copy of Chris' latest book, which was of course way over my head. I can remember Chris coming by a garage sale we were having and purchasing a loft bed my husband had made for our oldest daughter's dorm room. All I could think about was his legs hanging off the end. You will be truly missed Christopher by your wonderful and loving family. Keep an eye out for them and tell your Mom I said hi.
June 16, 2020
Christopher Schmitt brought to his work at Knowbility a love of the web and a passion for contributing to make it a more diverse, equitable, just, and welcoming medium. He was an esteemed and valued colleague, a brilliant and patient mentor, and a dearly beloved friend. He led the development of Knowbility’s virtual workshop program and along Ari Stiles, created what is now known as AccessU Online. Christopher leaves a legacy of commitment to excellence and equity that we will strive to continue in his memory. We will always miss him.
May 1, 2020
Truly too soon. Goodbye to Chris Schmitt. From the first moment in my Design classes, I saw how smart and devoted he was. He wanted to make a contribution to the web design world. He just loved it. And he really did. His accomplishments speak for themselves, through his many books, articles, speaking engagements, and general presence. He shouldn't be gone. The world has lost an incredible person. I will miss him.
Professor Gail Rubini, Florida State University
April 24, 2020
Richard and Sara,
Sincere sympathy and condolences are extended to you and your family in the passing of Christopher.
I pray your grief will be short-lived and that you will concentrate more on this remarkable life on Earth he seems to have experienced in such a short journey on this side of life.
Agape in Jesus,
Tallahassee , Florida
April 21, 2020
There are no words to express my sadness and feelings of loss over Christopher's passing. He was a great friend and it is very hard to imagine this world without him in it. Christopher was a brilliant, completely unique individual who's passion & dedication to what he cared for was truly remarkable, as were his achievements.
I have known Christopher since 1994 when we were undergraduates at Florida State University learning to become artists and designers. We met and spent countless hours together in the FSU art building computer lab (of course), realizing more and more all that we had in common. Some of my greatest friends are people met through Chris. He associated with quality people and I'm appreciating that more now than ever.
I am grateful I was able to reconnect with him in person in his home in Austin Texas in 2018 on my drive across the country, after a number of years of having been relatively out of touch. I was so lucky to have had a few more days of enjoying our friendship again, which was undiminished by our time apart.
The photo I am sharing here is the most recent one I have of Christopher. It may not be the most well-rounded view of him and all he cared about, but he's having a good time and I think it's terrific. He is posing with a band that cosplays as The Transformers, after a concert they had just played. He didn't know if he'd be able to get a photo with them and the special prop he's holding, but he managed to get a great one. We knew how to geek out together really well. He shared this with me knowing how much I'd appreciate this moment. I will miss you dearly Christopher.
April 18, 2020
Christopher is one of the most remarkable people I have ever known. I was blessed to have been his partner for many years in our late teens and 20s. He sponsored me into becoming a full member of the church through RCIA, a bond that will be with me always. I spent many hours and days with him and his family at holidays, vacations, weddings and graduations, all happy memories. His passing is too soon. I was blessed to remain his friend for the last 26 years. I will miss him forever. My love, sympathies and condolences to Christopher’s family and partner at this difficult time.
April 18, 2020
So sorry to hear of Christopher's passing...he was an excellent student and a great kid when I taught him in middle school.