Tuesday, October 15, 2002

Obituary: Thomas J. Schmidt

Price Hill man devoted to wife, kids during difficult times

By Rebecca Billman
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Thomas J. Schmidt was known for his courage, loyalty and determination.

In 1939, when his father, John J. Schmidt, needed help getting an ice-cream manufacturing business off the ground, Mr. Schmidt quit his job to join the firm.

And when his wife became partially paralyzed by polio, he took care of her needs while raising their three children.

"Dad loved his family deeply, and he was a man of honor and integrity who always did his duty, regardless of the difficulty," said his son Thomas J. Schmidt Jr. of Anderson Township.

Mr. Schmidt, 88, died Oct. 6 of acute renal failure at Good Samaritan Hospital. A longtime Price Hill resident, he had moved to Scarlet Oaks Retirement Community in Clifton in 1998.

He was a founder and co-owner of J.J. Schmidt Inc., a maker of ice cream that was located on Central Avenue.

Mr. Schmidt drove a truck, took care of the books, and worked in sales and manufacturing for his father's business. He enlisted in the Army Air Corps in 1942.

Four years later, he returned to join his father and brother, Ted, in the business. After their father's death, the brothers co-owned and operated it until they sold it in 1979.

Mr. Schmidt's wife, Rosemary O'Shaughnessy Schmidt, contracted polio in 1952.

"The most remarkable thing about Tom's life was the loving care he gave Rosemary through the long years of her illness," said his brother, Richard T.F. Schmidt of Clifton.

Mr. Schmidt cared for his wife with "selfless devotion and good humor" until her death in 1978, according to his son.

Mr. Schmidt grew up in Bond Hill and attended St. Xavier High School, where he lettered in football, basketball and tennis.

He went on to Xavier University, where he was class president during his sophomore, junior and senior years. He also was captain of the varsity football team.

In addition to his brother and son Thomas Jr., survivors include: another son, William J. of Anderson Township; a daughter, Mary Anne Benedict of Green Township; a sister, Betty Schmidt Schoettinger of Columbia Township; and eight grandchildren.

Services have been held.

Memorials: St. Xavier High School, 600 North Bend Road, Cincinnati 45224; or Xavier University, 3800 Victory Parkway, Cincinnati 45207.

E-mail rbillman@enquirer.com

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