Friday, July 14, 2000

Park to be named for couple

Schmidts gave much to Reading

By Walt Schaefer
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        READING — Andy Schmidt was born two blocks away. He also worked, worshipped and went to grade school within two blocks of the park that will be dedicated Saturday to honor him and his late wife, Mary.

        “What we have been calling Greenway Quiet Park — our newest park — for lack of a better name, will be officially named Andrew J. Schmidt and Mary T. Schmidt Park,” said Mayor Earl Schmidt, no relation.

        Dedication ceremonies are set for 3 p.m. at the 1.5-acre park off Walnut Street.

        “We have been discussing a name for the park, and it was brought to our attention that Andy was celebrating his 90th birthday this month, as well as being a lifelong resident, businessman and involved citizen,” the mayor said.

        Andy Schmidt is a founder and charter president of the Reading Kiwanis Club, and owner of Schmidt-Dhonau Funeral home on Reading Road. He led the creation of senior housing and Meals on Wheels in Reading.

        He is a lifelong member of SS. Peter & Paul Catholic Church, where he went to school, and has served daily Mass at the convent of the Sister of Notre Dame de Namur for 30 years.

        “It's quite an honor,” Mr. Schmidt said. “I had never dreamed there would be a park on this site. It's the site of the old waterworks and electric plant where my father, Frank, worked as a fireman stoking the boilers by hand.”

        Mr. Schmidt worked for 14 years to get senior housing in Reading, which resulted in the construction of the Mount View Terrace senior housing development.

        He also was instrumental in the Sycamore Senior Center launching Meals on Wheels in the Mill Creek Valley.

        A career funeral director, Mr. Schmidt graduated in 1932 from the old Cincinnati College of Embalming. He returned to the classroom in 1982 to earn a master's degree from Xavier University.

        All of Mr. Schmidt's children, and many of his 16 grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren, will attend the dedication ceremonies and a 90th birthday celebration this weekend.

        “This is wonderful for both Mom and Dad,” said daughter Barb Radford of Memphis, Tenn. “They were a team. Everything Dad did, Mom supported.”

        Mary Schmidt died in 1993.


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