In Memory of My Brother,
Baldwin Stephen Schmidt
of Cincinnati, San Francisco and Reno, Nevada.
by his brother Tom Schmidt, ... 11/1/2011
Baldwin Stephen Schmidt (born August 3, 1942, Cincinnati, Ohio) died peacefully at his home in Reno, Nevada, on October 30, 2011. Steve had been suffering from Multiple Sclerosis for approximately five years. Hospice of Reno, several caregivers, and his wife Kathy, were present to ease his passing.
Steve was born to Edna Marie Schmidt and William Christian Gottlieb Schmidt. He lived initially at their farm in College Hill with older brother Bill and younger brother Tom. The farm during the war years had horses, ponies, cows, pigs, chickens, rabbits, and family cats and dogs. It was a perfect place for an energetic outdoorsy child to run free and safely through the woods, meadows, hay fields, pastures, and barns.
Steve went to Lotspeich School under the marvelous Principal Ted Wuerfel and had the benefit of teachers Mrs. Bricker, the two Van Orsdel sisters, Mrs. Boehme, Mrs. Sluss, and Mr. Giles to build a base of learning and fair play. He reveled in the Wuerfels Beaver Lodge Camp for several summers in Michigan.
In 1952 the Schmidt family moved to a small farm on Drake Road in Indian Hill. Steve prowled the woods of Indian Hill with his brothers and the Arms boys next door (Ricky, Jonny, and David) and his boon companion Ricky Schneider and Peter Lowery. He spent those early teen years summers playing knothole baseball at Paul Stephan Field, going to Boy Scout Camp at Camp Edgar Friedlander which he loved, and working for Mr. Bolanger as the youth concession stand operator for the recreation park at the corner of Drake and Indian Hill Road. He attended middle school at Indian Hill School and switched to Cincinnati Country Day School for high school. He starred in sports at Country Day. He was the citys high scorer in football senior year with over 100 points. Steve played basketball as a sophomore for the varsity because of his height (63) and aggressive rebounding. He was a left handed hitter and outfielder. Country Day went to state with the pitching of Andy Luther and Tenny Hinkle, and hustle of Don Schroeder, Rusty Reeves, Johnny Mount, Charlie Bosworth, Mike Grace and Gil Gillespie. Steve possessed leadership qualities from his beginning. He was elected to student council each year and was co-captain of the football team his senior year, 1959. He liked being the patrol leader for his Boy Scout squad. He was named head acolyte at the Indian Hill Church.
Steve was accepted at Cornell and received an appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy. It was a moment of The road not taken. He would have played football at Cornell, starred , and avoided war. Something about leadership called him to the U.S. Naval Academy. An injury caused by a roommate bouncing him out of his bunk bed kept him off the football fields for Navy. He graduated in 1964 in time to serve his country at war. He served off Vietnam twice in destroyers (DD 717 U.S.S. Chandler was one). He was a nuclear weapons officer. In 1967 he was put in charge of a river patrol boat interdicting the enemy on Vietnam rivers. Half way through that tour he was sent home with malaria. He went back when he had recovered adequately. Steve told a Vietnam vet over a pool table in Pacifica, California, years later that he learned that his boat and his men were used at times to draw fire so that the artillery could pummel the enemy positions. He didnt like being used that way. Steve finished his naval career at Mare Island in the San Francisco Bay where he taught riverine warfare to sailors heading to patrol boats like his in Vietnam.
Steve received a Masters Degree from San Francisco State in humanities and philosophy. He joined the Merchant Marines as a professional photographer. He discovered that candid photographs of classrooms with the teachers and students could reveal what works and doesnt work for the teacher and students. While living in Marin County, California, Steve became the county coordinator for the initiative-referendum to prevent any more nuclear power plants from being built in California. Although the initiative did not pass, no new nuclear power plants have been constructed in California in the 35 years since then.
When Steves father retired from the Cincinnati Butchers Supply Company in 1978, his father Bill became the owner of the LeFiell Company in San Francisco. Steve accepted an invitation to work for it. When the company president resigned, Steve became the new president of that meat packing equipment manufacturing company.Through all kinds of adversity, Steve kept the firm going. He moved it lock, stock, and barrel to Reno in 1995 where the operating costs enabled it to be competitive.
Steves wife Kathy Schmidt has been president of LeFiell
since Steves health started to decline because of
MS in 2006. Steve liked doing what he did. He had friends throughout the meat industry in America, especially the members and staff of the National Meat Association. Through his work he was able to consult with his father, William C. Schmidt, and then his mother Edna (Ede) Marie Schmidt who maintained ownership until 1994 when Steve bought them out. Steve was devoted to his work and his company, its employees and its customers. He had a good life. His wartime military experience and the hardships of maintaining the profitability of an old company
in a mature industry took a toll on Steve.
Steve had a great sense of humor. The least we can do
for God is to amuse Him. Steve loved back-packing
trips into the Sierra Nevada and voyages to the beaches of Hawaii and Mexico. He delighted in bird watching and occasionally collected a butterfly. It was a rare year when a cat or dog wasnt part of his family.
Steve was preceded in death by his parents, William C. And Edna
Marie Schmidt of Cincinnati, his maternal grandparents Norman Arthur Baldwin and Annie
Ozer Baldwin, and his fraternal grandparents Charles Oscar
Schmidt and Charlotte Fritz Schmidt all of Cincinnati. He is survived by his wife Kathy Schmidt of Reno, Nevada, brother William Schmidt and his companion Lana Caputo of San Diego, California, brother Thomas C. Schmidt and his wife Deborah of Whitefish, Montana, and his only nephew, Carey B. C. Schmidt and his wife Samantha Schoeneman Schmidt of Missoula, Montana.
In memory of Steves life, death and resurrection, gifts may be sent to support the activities and programs and values of Camp Edgar Friedlander, B.S.A.. Cincinnati, OH.