Orville Eugene Schmidt of rural Newton went to his eternal home on Friday. Jan. 10, 2020. He was born Sept. 21, 1928, in Newton to Arthur H. Schmidt and Edna M. (Briggs) Schmidt.
Orville was a 1946 graduate of Newton High School and attended Kansas State University until being called back home to help manage the family farm along with his brother. On Oct. 8, 1950, he was united in marriage to Elizabeth (Betty) V. Jones. From this union, he and Betty had three children: Ricky L. Schmidt (deceased), Larry T. (Diana) Schmidt of rural Sedgwick and Jill A. (Tony) Gonzalez of rural Newton.
Orville was a farmer, dairyman and agri-businessman. He was a member and past president of the Harvey County Extension Board, the Harvey County and Newton City Three Mile Area Planning Commission. He was one of three men that organized the Sand Creek Watershed, holding a position as officer for 30 years. He was also a member and past president of the Harvey County Rural Life Association. In 1974 he was elected to the Harvey County Commission, 1st District and served as commissioner one term. He helped Blue Jet Manufacturing develop deep placement of fertilizer on their equipment, preventing run—off of fertilizer into ground water and was a distributor for the state of Kansas. He was a member of the Salem United Methodist church where he served as trustee and usher and a member and past president of the Wibands Sunday school Class. He also made several trips to Guatemala on mission trips.
Orville was an avid fisherman who insisted as few as two years ago to make certain that there were enough fish in the freezer to allow two meals of fish per week for a year. He enjoyed fishing from the stocked pond on the farm and from the watershed lake that he owned, located in Coffey County. He enjoyed having family and friends visit the watershed lake. There were many spring and summer holidays enjoying multiple watersports at the watershed. He and Betty had the opportunity to travel much of the United States and Canada, enjoying the 5th wheel camping life. He had a great love for the arts and music. Rarely was a basketball game missed, especially KU basketball, sometimes requiring tuning in to the television and also the radio at the same time to assure that he didn’t miss a game.
Orville was preceded in death by his parents and one son, Ricky, He is survived by his wife Betty, his son Larry and daughter Jill. Sister, Virginia R. Payer-Olson of Wichita, Brother Robert M. Schmidt of rural Newton, eight grandchildren, 14 great grandchildren and three great great grandchildren.
Funeral service will be at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 15, at Salem United Methodist Church in Newton with the Rev. Ron Kite and Chaplain Tal Tittsworth presiding. Visitation will be from 5 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 14, at Petersen Funeral Home in Newton with the family receiving friends from 6:30 to 8 p.m. The family will have a private interment.
Memorials are suggested to Salem United Methodist church or Good Shepherd Hospice In care of Petersen Funeral Home.