Carolyn May "Toodie" Schmitz (1932 - 2017)

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Longtime Juneau resident Carolyn Schmitz, 85, died recently in Juneau. Carolyn May Bayne was born and raised in the Ballard section of Seattle. Friends and neighbors knew her as "Toodie." The nickname derived from a children's book, Toodles and Her Friends, that Carolyn never tired of hearing and from which she developed a love for dogs. She recalled fond memories of playing outside games like Kick the Can or sledding with childhood friends. Former classmates remember Carolyn as an outgoing, well rounded and popular Ballard High School leader, ski club officer and member of the honor society. This was in an era of burger hangouts and big band dances that included Carolyn wearing short-sleeved sweaters, pearl necklaces, saddle shoes and white gloves to invitational teas.
In 1950 after high school, Carolyn attended the University of Washington majoring in Home Economics and pledging the Alpha Phi sorority. Then in 1956, during the time she worked at U. S. Plywood, Carolyn met William "Bill" Schmitz Jr. of Juneau. They wed in 1958. After their son Michael was born, they moved to Juneau in 1961 where Diane was later born. Meanwhile, Carolyn easily made friends through what they call her family centered generosity, kindness and loyal spirit. She expanded her friendships when she became a P.E.O. sister of her beloved Chapter G and played in a women's bowling league. She soon became known as a gracious hostess and a good cook noted for her pies, pumpkin bread and Christmas cookies.
Bill and Carolyn enjoyed playing Bridge with likeminded friends and spent many Memorial Day weekends fishing with Judy and Rudy Ripley. "You can learn a lot about someone when the fish don't bite," said Judy, who shared the pride of their Finnish heritage with Carolyn and attested to her sense of humor. She said Carolyn was amused that she could acquire a free trapping license when she reached a certain age and often referred to herself as "Trapper." Sometimes Judy got a phone call from Carolyn saying, "It looks like a good day for trapping." Carolyn especially treasured the opportunity to travel with Bill, usually visiting Ballard friends on the way to a family summer break in Chelan, WA and later on to their winters in California. She enjoyed planting summer flowers at her Juneau home, continued to support scholarships for women in P.E.O., volunteered for the and regularly visited or provided transportation for friends to the Juneau Pioneer Home.
Carolyn relished becoming "Nanny" to her three grandsons who recall her as a loving person who genuinely cared about people. "She always had a smile and a light about her when I came to visit," grandson Ryan said. "She taught me how to be good company and how to tell a story." Her loving spirit is also echoed by her son Mike. He said a Catholic priest once spelled the word love as T I M E. He said you spend time with the people you love. Mike said, "That was Mom." She was remembered by daughter Diane as being "the best" at what some call the hardest job, that of homemaker and stay-at-home mom. One of Diane's childhood friends, to this day, stated she still tries to emulate "Mrs. Schmitz" whenever she's in the kitchen preparing food for her family, because of her outstanding homemaking skills.
Carolyn was preceded in death by her husband William Schmitz Jr., infant son William Arvid Schmitz, parents Arvid and Martha Bayne, brother James Bayne and nephew Bill Buonamassa. She is survived by son Michael Schmitz, daughter Diane Hoover (Sam), and grandsons Johnathon Schmitz, Ryan Hoover, Will Hoover, sister-in-law Wilma Bayne, niece Karen Bayne, and nephews Martin Bayne, Daniel Bayne and Steven Bayne.
Donations can be made in Carolyn's memory to the , 3851 Piper Street, Ste. U240, Anchorage, AK 99508, the Alaska Cancer Connection, P. O. Box 20329, Juneau, AK 99802 or Chapter G, P.E.O, 1029 A Street, Juneau, AK 99801. The family can be contacted through Michael at Schmitz & Buck, 8800 Glacier Hwy. #226, Juneau, AK 99801 or by emailing Diane at [email protected]. The family invites those who wish to celebrate Carolyn's life to a gathering on Sunday, December 10 at the Juneau Yacht Club from 2-5 p.m.
Published in The Juneau Empire from Dec. 4, 2017 to Jan. 3, 2018
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