William J. "Bill" Schmitz (1930 - 2011)

Obituary
9 entries
  • "Mike and Diane, I'm very sorry to hear about the loss of..."
  • "Dear Mike and Diane I knew your father for many years and I..."
    - Arlene Crumrine
  • "Although a friend to my parents, Bob and Evie Scott, we had..."
  • "Our thoughts and prayers are with you in your time of..."
    - Lynda Foreman
  • "My condolences to the Schmitz family. Bill was a very smart..."
    - Jeff Hoover
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Lifelong Juneau resident, William J. "Bill" Schmitz, 80, died peacefully in his sleep at home the morning of July 16, 2011. His life and body of work affected many people in the Juneau community. He is remembered by his friends as someone who lived life his way, but also lived it as a loyal friend, a man of integrity, a person who could tell a good story with a sharp wit, and someone who knew how to thoroughly analyze any situation.
Bill was born into a miner's family on Oct. 13, 1930 at St. Ann's Hospital. His family said Bill learned early the value of a dollar. He began selling the Daily Alaska Empire at age five. By age seven he had newsboys working for him, and by age ten had saved $1,000. Bill graduated from Juneau High School in 1948, and after working a year to afford college, he attended Washington State and Central Washington University. When the Korean War broke out, Bill transferred to the University of Washington and joined the ROTC. Following graduation in 1953 with a degree in business and after a year of graduate school, Bill joined the U.S. Air Force serving part of his tour in Japan.
Upon his service discharge, Bill joined the Seattle accounting firm of Touche, Ross, Bailey and Smart and married Carolyn "Toodie" Bayne of Seattle on Feb. 7, 1958. He returned to his beloved Juneau on January 1, 1961 after the birth of their son, Michael, in 1959. Daughter, Diane, was born at St. Ann's in 1962.
Bill began his accounting career in Juneau as William J. Schmitz, Jr. CPA in 1961, then partnered in 1965 with Peter L. Kline to form the successful accounting firm of Schmitz and Kline until 1984 when Pete semi retired and moved from Juneau. Bill then continued the business as Bill Schmitz, CPA. His son, Michael, joined the firm in 1986, and in 1997, father and son formed a new partnership with Darla Buck as Schmitz and Buck, LLC, CPAs. Bill strongly believed in education and was proud of his children's accomplishments. His son, Mike, said, "I could ask my father the meaning of any word, and when I looked it up, he was absolutely correct." Bill continued his own education with intensive yearly classes throughout his professional life.
Bill actively supported local businesses, counseled new business owners and served as president of the Juneau Chamber of Commerce in 1965. He became the Alaska Committee's treasurer when it formed in 1962, earnestly collecting funds through several efforts to retain Juneau as Alaska's capital city. In 1987 he was elected to the Alaska Savings and Loan Bank board of directors, the forerunner of Alaska Pacific Bank, and remained an active director until his death. Current Chairman Bill Corbus said, "Bill had an extensive knowledge of the Juneau business community and always exhibited a calm demeanor and leadership as evidenced by his election as Chairman from 1990-96." Bill was also a former member of Rotary and a Benevolent Protective Order of Elks lifetime member.
Bill enjoyed his annual November hunting trips to Crab Bay and loved catching trout in the Sheep Creek Valley, an area he introduced to his children and grandchildren. He loved to cook Sunday dinners for his family and to play the harmonica for his grandchildren. Carolyn said, "He was also an excellent card player, especially at Bridge," a game the couple enjoyed with friends. In later years, Bill was able to spend more leisure time away from Juneau playing golf as a member of Ironwood Country Club in Palm Desert, CA, or taking cruises with Carolyn. However, as a businessman devoted to his clients, he always made sure he was home at tax time.
Bill is survived by his wife, Carolyn; son, Michael Schmitz; daughter, Diane Hoover, and her fiancé Sam Miller; grandsons Johnathon Schmitz and Ryan and Will Hoover; nephew Bill Buonamassa (Arlene); and several cousins. Bill was preceded in death by his parents, William and Emily Schmitz; sister, Jackie Buonamassa; and infant son, William Arvid Schmitz.
Friends of the family are invited to attend a Celebration of Life for Bill to be held at the Jordan Creek Mall on Wednesday, July 27, from 4 to 7 p.m. The family can be contacted at P. O. Box 210747, Auke Bay, AK 99821. Contributions in Bill's memory may be sent to Hospice of Juneau and Home Care, 419 Sixth Street, Juneau, AK 99801, or to Friends of the Flags, P.O. Box 32201, Juneau, AK 99803.
Published in The Juneau Empire from July 22 to July 29, 2011