John Theodore Schmidt, “Ted,” passed away on February 17, 2018 at the age of sixty-three with his wife and children in his home in Harper Woods, Michigan.
Ted was born on October 4, 1954 in Long Island, New York to Henrietta and Theodore John Schmidt. He grew up as the oldest of four children and was the rock for his siblings, Phil, Derry and Charlyn, as he would be later for so many others. Ted graduated from the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta in 1979. Throughout his career, he was a civil engineer in Alabama, Georgia and Michigan. He was a certified Professional Engineer and a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers.
Ted met his wife, Beverly, in 1977 and knew he wanted to marry her before they even spoke. They got to know each other in a college Bible study group, and eventually began dating. They were married on August 25, 1979. Ted and Beverly were very much in love and embraced every season of their lives – newlywed life, traveling together, raising their children and enjoying their empty nest. Ted loved Beverly just as she is – he took her out on a weekly date night, regularly serenaded her and gave her thoughtful little gifts. His son, Paul, was born on December 18, 1987 and his daughter, Joy, was born on September 4, 1989. They spent most of their time together as a family living in Marietta, Georgia.
He was larger than life, a reliable family man – the most solid person his wife and kids have known. For such a tall, strong guy, he was really a sentimental teddy bear. His sense of humor and “dad jokes” always warranted a good chuckle or at least an “ok” followed by an eye roll. He raised his family to love national parks and camping trips like he did. One of the things his family remembers most fondly was his camping face smile. He taught Paul and Joy how to play sports and to love music. He also taught them how to make wise decisions and was always there, with a quiet (or loud when he needed to be) voice, urging them to take their time and be thorough like he always was.
He kept everyone up-to-date on how the Yankees and Yellow Jackets fared. He was always competitive, and we saw that when he played games like monopoly, backgammon, baseball and racquetball. He was the family’s “human GPS” and unofficial meteorologist, who always got so excited about weather patterns, especially the snow.
He was a strong spiritual leader, always putting Christ as his foundation. He served across a number of churches as an elder for over thirty five years and in the church choir for nearly forty years – most of that time at Smyrna Presbyterian Church.
In 2016, Ted was excited to land a new job with the City of Detroit, in the Civil Engineering Division of the Department of Public Works. He enjoyed starting a new chapter with Beverly in a new place. After moving, they quickly joined Knox Presbyterian Church and made new friends fast. The following March, Ted was diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer. He fought harder than most would – trying surgery, chemotherapy and immunotherapy. He is now free from this awful disease and is in heaven with his first son, David Thomas.
In lieu of flowers, Ted requested anyone who felt led to make donations to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network.
Ted’s family will be honoring his life with three services. The first service will be held at Knox Presbyterian Church on Tuesday, February 20, 2018, with visitation at 10am and the funeral at 11am.
The second service will be held at Smyrna Presbyterian Church, 3130 Atlanta Road SE, Smyrna, GA 30080, on Saturday, February 24, 2018, with visitation at 10am and the memorial at 11am. Following the memorial service, Ted will be buried in Taft, Tennessee at the cemetery at Prosperity Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church at 5pm.