Wilma Schmidt, 91, passed away peacefully, surrounded by family at her home at Kidron Bethel Village in North Newton on Saturday, July 31, 2021. She was born on Aug. 20, 1929, in Goessel, the second of six children of David F. and Mary Flaming Voth.
Wilma attended Heimbaugh Grade School and Goessel High School. Not having a car, she and her siblings rented a room with a family in Goessel to attend school and went home on weekends. After graduation in 1947, Wilma spent the summer as a live-in child care provider for the Rex Moody family in Newton, then worked as a typesetter at Mennonite Press.
Wilma’s life changed after receiving a letter from Alvin T. Schmidt of rural Walton, asking her for a date to the state fair. Wilma married Alvin on Dec. 20, 1952, at Tabor Mennonite Church. Together they raised four children on a dairy farm. They celebrated 66 years of marriage on Dec. 20, 2018.
Wilma was baptized upon her confession of faith on June 9, 1946, by the Rev. H. B. Schmidt and became a lifelong member of Tabor Mennonite Church. She taught children’s Sunday School and Vacation Bible School, served on Willing Helpers Sewing Circle and Peace and Social Concerns Committee, and formed lasting relationships as a youth mentor. Wilma lived her faith, radiating love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Above all, Wilma loved her family and prayed daily for each one by name.
Whether in baking, sewing, growing and arranging flowers, painting, piecing quilts or making fabric art with nature themes, Wilma was a creative artist. Together with another couple, she and Alvin became co-owners of The Quilt Shop in North Newton, where Wilma loved helping customers with their projects. She designed and sold original patterns as Rose Brier Creations. She always liked to have at least one creative project going, making quilts and wall hangings for friends, gifts and the MCC sale.
In later years, Wilma enjoyed travel with Alvin, Red Hat Ladies get-togethers and Tuesday coffee at the Whistle Stop. She liked to wear purple and eat dark chocolate.
Wilma is survived by her four children, Christine Schmidt of Vernon, British Columbia, Linda Schmidt of Kimberling City, Mo., Elizabeth Schmidt (Greg Nye) of North Newton and Emil Schmidt (Vickie)of rural Walton, grandchildren, Lucas Wiebe (Jill Worboys) of Coldstream, British Columbia, Patrick Wiebe of Acapulco, Mexico; Toban Wiebe (Daweon Ryu) of Johnson City, Tenn., and Michael Wiebe (Laura Kwun) of Vancouver, British Columbia; sisters, Hulda Schrag (John) and Darlene Schroeder; brother-in-law Milton Duerksen and brother, Elmer (Lynne ) Voth.
Wilma was preceded in death by her husband, Alvin and grandson, Nathan Aaron Schmidt; her parents and sisters Esther Unruh, Alice Duerksen and infant sister, Betty.
A Celebration of Life service will be at 3 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 22, at Tabor Mennonite Church, 891 Chisholm Trail Rd., Newton (rural Marion County). Please wear masks.
Memorial gifts may be made to Tabor Mennonite Church, MCC and Kansas Mennonite Relief Sale (KMRS).
*View livestream at https://tabormennonite.org, hover over “Worship” on top right, click on “Sunday Morning Worship,” scroll down to “Wilma Schmidt Memorial Service,” then click “play” button on the video. Will be available later on YouTube.