OBITUARY: Virginia (Schmidt) Payer Olson


Virginia (Schmidt) Payer Olson, 98, passed away peacefully on May 22, 2024, at Presbyterian Manor of Wichita. She was born on April 23, 1926, in Newton to Arthur and Edna Schmidt. She was a loving mother, wife and friend. She was active in her community and was a longtime member of the Presbyterian Church.

She grew up on a farm outside of Newton, the oldest of three children, with brothers, Orville (deceased) and Robert.

Virginia believed in the importance of getting a good education and was the first in her family to attend college. While in school, she was president of her Kappa Delta sorority.

Virginia graduated from Kansas State College (now Kansas State University) with a degree in home economics.

After graduation, she taught at Peabody High School, married, became a homemaker to raise her children (Wendell and Beth Martens), later taught at Rosalia High School, and later worked as the compliance officer at the National Bank of Wichita.

Virginia liked expanding her knowledge, determined to always do her best, and had a good sense of humor. She enjoyed knitting, gardening, sewing, volunteering, playing cards, and gathering with family and friends.

She is survived by her son, Wendell Martens of Clarkston, Mich.; daughter, Beth Humlicek (Don) of Wichita; brother, Robert Schmidt of Newton; step-daughter, Cheryl Payer of New York, N.Y.; and step-daughter, Leslie (Robert) Higgins of Redondo Beach, Calif. Grandchildren and great-grandchildren include Brandon (Leah) Smith – Stella, Lincoln, and Bennett; Blake (Melissa) Smith – Camdyn, Finn, and Grayson; Trisha Williams – Dean and Sloane; Sean Martens; and Kylie Martens.

Virginia was preceded in death by Arthur and Edna Schmidt, Orville and Betty Schmidt, Geraldine (Jerry) Schmidt, Paul Martens, Victor Eugene Payer, Lynn Payer, and Gordon Olson.

Visitation will be from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, May 31, and the funeral will be at 10 a.m. Saturday, June 1, both at Petersen Funeral Home, 215 N. Main St., Newton, followed by burial at Greenwood Cemetery, 1100 E. First St., Newton.

Donations may be made to Good Shepherd Hospice of Wichita, Kansas.

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