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Cletus V. Schmidt


1929 - 2017 Obituary Condolences
Cletus V. Schmidt Obituary
January 1, 1929 - June 17, 2017 Cletus Vincent Schmidt, born January 1, 1929, led an extraordinary life. Cletus was the seventh of the eight children of Joseph and Barbara Schmidt. He lived through the Dust Bowl in Spearville, Kansas, until he moved to California at age 11. He proved to be an excellent all-around athlete and made varsity basketball for Mount Carmel High School as a freshman. He worked in San Francisco for his oldest brother Paul in the summer of 1945. It was there he contracted what was expected to be a fatal case of polio. His family was told he would not survive and he was given the Last Rites. If he survived, he would never walk again. The physicians were wrong on both counts. Cletus taught himself first to walk under the cover of darkness at the hospital. Through intensive exercise and incredible will power he eventually played a number of sports including volleyball and racquetball. He played well into his 60s. He also used his competitive nature to exceed academically. He matriculated to UCLA both as an undergraduate and for law school. He became a successful attorney. Cletus married the love of his life Marlene Gloria Spreitzer in 1956. They had four children, Dianne, Richard, John and Michael. He became the proud grandfather of 10 grandchildren. Cletus loved to compete in all aspects of his life. There was no challenge too daunting. He was a charismatic leader. But above all, Cletus would be proud to be remembered as a father. He cherished that role, not only with his own children, but also with his large extended family and even with his children's friends. Cletus left this world on June 17, 2017 on his own terms to be with his forever gal, Marlene. He will be sorely missed. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Christopher Reeve spinal foundation
Published in the Los Angeles Times on June 30, 2017
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