Oct. 22, 1934 - Oct. 11, 2013
SOUTH BEND - Roger A. Schmitz, 78, died peacefully at home surrounded by his loving family, on October 11, 2013. Diagnosed with ALS in March 2013, he battled this disease with courage and dignity. Born October 22, 1934, Roger was the son of the late Alfred and Wilma (Aarns) Schmitz. He married Ruth Kuhl on August 31, 1957. Roger graduated from the University of Illinois in 1959 with a degree in Chemical Engineering, and earned his Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota in 1962. He was a professor at the University of Illinois from 1962 to 1979. Roger joined the University of Notre Dame faculty in 1979 as Keating-Crawford Professor. He was named Chairman of the Chemical Engineering Department at Notre Dame in 1979; McCloskey Dean of Engineering in 1981; and Vice President and Associate Provost in 1987. He returned to teaching and full time research as Keating-Crawford Professor of Chemical Engineering at the University of Notre Dame in 1995 and was Keating-Crawford Professor Emeritus from 2005 to 2013. Elected to membership in the prestigious National Academy of Engineering in 1984, Roger was internationally known for his research on instabilities in chemically reacting systems. He is survived by his wife, Ruth (Kuhl) Schmitz; daughters, Jan (Rick) Mathew of Forsyth, Illinois, Joy (Mark) Barnes of Houston, Texas, and Joni (Paul) Sabin of New Berlin, Wisconsin; granddaughters, Amanda Ruth Mathew, Rachel Suzanne Barnes, and Hannah Catherine Barnes; and grandsons, Troy Richard Mathew, Timothy Roger Sabin, Todd Christian Sabin, and Tyler Francis Sabin. Roger appreciated the natural beauty of God's world, and he dearly loved running on the Florida beaches. He looked forward to baseball and "Camp Londonberry" with his grandchildren every summer. Participating in the annual Sunburst race was always a highlight for Roger, especially 2005, when three generations of his family placed first in their divisions. His happiest moments were spent surrounded by family. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 3:30 pm Wednesday, October 16, at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart on the Notre Dame campus. A visitation is scheduled for two hours prior, from 1:15 to 3:15 p.m. in the Basilica. Palmer Funeral Home - Hickey Chapel is assisting the family with arrangements. Online condolences may be left for the Schmitz family at www.palmerfuneralhomes.com. Roger was a supporter of research foundations and children's organizations. Donations may be made to the
in his honor.
Published in South Bend Tribune from Oct. 14 to Oct. 16, 2013