Erwin Schmidt, 90

Published 11:10 am Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Erwin Schmidt, 90, of Wichita, Kan., formerly of Austin, Minn., died Tuesday, April 3, 2012, at his daughter and son-in-law’s home in Wichita.

Erwin Schmidt

Erwin was born Sept. 18, 1921, in Brownsdale, Minn. to John and Hattie (Ohm) Schmidt. He married Hilda Polnau on June 26, 1943, at the Trinity Lutheran Church in Waltham, Minn. He worked for 43 years for Hormel Foods, retiring in 1983.

Erwin was an active member of St John’s Lutheran Church, until moving to Wichita in November 2011, and was involved with the Sunday morning radio broadcast where he took over the duties in 1978 as chief engineer. He was a licensed amateur radio operator, belonged to the Austin Amateur Radio Club and was a Skywarn Spotter for Mower County Civil Defense. He was active with the Red Cross and worked many parades in Austin. He previously enjoyed working on his acerage east of Austin, fishing, photography, going on many trips, playing 500 and spending time with his family. He was named Mower County Fair’s Outstanding Senior Citizen of the year in 2007.

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Erwin is survived by his wife, Hilda of Wichita; son, Douglas Schmidt (friend Christine Schwanke) of Rochester, Minn.; daughter Michelle and husband David Webster of Wichita. He is also survived by grandchildren and great-granchildren Jeremy (Leah) Dahlback, Prior Lake, Minn, and children Max and Lola; Lori (Tim) Dunford, Red Wing, Minn. and children Madison & Olivia; Heidi (William) Schreiber, Charlotte, N.C. and children Willy and Carly.

He is preceded in death by his parents and sister Marie (Schmidt) Fett, Waltham.

A funeral service will be held at 10:30 a.m. Monday, April 9 at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Austin with the Rev. Tom Ogilvie officiating. The funeral home is Downing and Lahey Mortuary of Wichita. Interment will take place at a later date.