Raymond E. Schmidt
1927 - 2021
BORN
1927
DIED
2021
FUNERAL HOME
Verkuilen - Van Deurzen Family Funeral Home - Kaukauna
2401 Fieldcrest Drive
Kaukauna, WI
Raymond E. Schmidt

Kaukauna - Raymond Edward Schmidt passed away peacefully on Monday, March 8, 2021, at the age of 93. He was a loving son, brother, husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather and friend; one of the kindest, and most generous people anyone could ever know.

Ray was born on June 28, 1927, in Kaukauna, WI, to Albert and Margaret Schmidt. He was the second of eight children. Growing up, Ray had many friends. He was kind to everyone; a real good guy. He was an altar boy at St. Mary's Church, played the trumpet in high school, and loved fishing with his Dad. Ray also learned the value of hard work. He cleared fields, painted gas stations, helped build the family's cottage, and drove fuel oil truck for his father. In 1945, he graduated from Kaukauna High School, served in the U.S. Army in Panama during WWII, and started his career delivering home heating fuel.

On September 22, 1948, he married Carol "Tweet" Zornow. Together they raised two daughters, Jane and Julie, and two sons, Albert and Wallie. He was a devoted father, and a wonderful example for his children. Ray and Tweet enjoyed nearly 55 years of marriage. Side by side, they carried on an avid social life at their home, cottage, local establishments, and the golf course. They traveled extensively, and loved to spend time with family, and their large circles of friends. Ray is well-known for the tremendous care he showed for Tweet through her 53-year struggle with diabetes. He always said that they had a very, very good life together.

In 1951, Ray and his brother Art bought a fuel oil route in Kimberly, WI, and started Schmidt Brothers Oil Company with their father's financial backing and industry connections. They renamed the company Schmidt Oil Co. when their father joined the business in 1954. Later, their younger brother Bill came into the company, and eventually the name was changed to U.S. Oil Co., Inc., and then U.S. Venture, Inc. During his career, Ray ran the tire warehouse, served as Secretary-Treasurer, cultivated the company's philanthropy, and was always and forever the "people person" at the office. To the end, he cared deeply for everyone who worked at U.S. Venture. He visited the office often, calling everyone by name, and asking about their family. He was incredibly proud of, and grateful for all of their hard work. He always said they had the best people working at the company.

After Tweet's passing, Ray found love again, and married his high school sweetheart, LaVerne (Alears) Leddy on October 9, 2004. They made each other extremely happy, and with the addition of LaVerne's five daughters' families, Ray was thrilled to have an even larger family of children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. Ray always commented on how blessed he was to find such happiness and love twice in his life. He was an incredible example to all of a loving and devoted husband and father.

Ray's tremendous love for people was evident in his incredible generosity. Following the example of his parents, and guided by his strong Catholic faith, he gave tirelessly to those who were hurting; humbly giving because it was the right thing to do. He had many favorite charities both close to home and abroad, but he found most happiness in directly helping someone in need. He touched a lot of people. Ray often commented that since he was so blessed, it was his duty to help others, and he actively worked to share the joy of philanthropy with his children and grandchildren.

Ray enjoyed golf, gathering with friends, fish fries at Van Abel's, singing with the Barbershoppers, traveling in his motor home, and spending time at the cottage. He liked to build in his workshop, remodel his home, and draw plans for friends' construction projects. He had a sharp mind, a great memory, a brain for math, a need to problem-solve, a beautiful singing voice, and an incredible sense of humor. He was a man of deep faith, and the best at leading mealtime prayer. He really took care of his sisters, and his family members. More than anything, he wanted us all to "just get along" and be "Happy Campers." Ray was extremely life-giving in raising others up, and always positive about his own situation. He will be remembered for his overwhelming kindness, his steadfast love of all people, his inspiring generosity, and his many many sing-a-longs of "Clarence the Clocker." Ray leaves behind an amazing example of a well-lived and well-loved life. He will be greatly missed.

Ray is survived by four children: Jane Kaufman, Julie Bongers, Albert (Shirley) Schmidt, and Walter (Amy Hansen) Schmidt; five step children: Lynn (Jerry) Zimpelmann, Patty (Vern) Drechsler, Cheri (Perry) Brown, Lorrie (Jerry) Schneider, and Leah (Lee Auerbach) Leddy; 11 grandchildren: Paul Kaufman, John (Tara) Kaufman, Carol (Brad) Van Camp, Jacquelyn (Michael) Sharkey, Michael (Michelle) Bongers, Gregory (Laurie) Bongers, Maria (Kyle) Gauthier, Christopher (Jena) Schmidt, Charlie Schmidt Hansen, Samuel Schmidt Hansen and Leo Schmidt Hansen; 13 step grandchildren: Matthew (Gina) Zimpelmann, Adam (Lindsay) Zimpelmann, Jonathan (Andrea) Zimpelmann, Heidi (Brad) Krause, Greta (Jake) Wagner, Leddy (Kevin) Luebke, Lane (Ben) Pritzl, Lydia (Casey) Pivonka, Liam (Raquel) Brown, Ryan (Hannah) Brown, Natalie (Jon) Schubbe, Maria (Luke) Hartzheim, and Andrea (Mike) Kohne; and 57 great grandchildren. He is also survived by sisters: Helen Lenz, Mary Ann Austin, Eleanor (Marvin) Hietpas, and Florence (Mike) McKenna; brother-in-law: Edward Mentzer; sisters-in-law: Barbara Schmidt, and Marian Van Groll; as well as numerous nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.

Ray was preceded in death by his wives: Carol Schmidt, and LaVerne Schmidt; three children deceased at birth: Mary, James and John; sons-in-law: Joe Kaufman, and Dan Bongers; his parents: Albert and Margaret (Wanke) Schmidt; father and mother-in-law: Walter and Dory (Jansen) Zornow; brothers: Arthur (Gladys) Schmidt, and William Schmidt; sister: Margaret Mentzer; brothers-in-laws: Ignatius Lenz, Frank Austin, Jack (Margaret) Zornow, and Bill (Maggie) Zornow; sisters-in-law: Phyllis Nelson, June (Mike) Verhagen, and Arlene (Ray) Bobber.

There will be a public visitation on Monday, March 15, 2021, from 3:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. at St. Katharine Drexel Parish - St. Mary's Church, 119 W. 7th Street, Kaukauna. The family will celebrate Ray's life privately with a Mass on Tuesday morning. Those wishing to view the Mass online may do so at the Verkuilen-Van Deurzen Family Funeral Home Facebook Page at 11:00 a.m. Interment will be in St. Mary's Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, a memorial is being established in Ray's name. For online condolences, please visit www.verkuilenfh.com.

The Schmidt Family would like to extend a special thank you to Ray's incredible team of caregivers: Amy, Sue, Jan, Laurie, Bonnie, Liam, Glen and Cathy for their outstanding care of him these last many months, and to the numerous friends and family members who shared meals with Ray nightly. The family also expresses its gratitude to the doctors, nurses and staff at St. Elizabeth Hospital for taking exceptional care of Ray during his final days.







Published by Appleton Post-Crescent from Mar. 10 to Mar. 14, 2021.
To plant trees in memory, please visit the Sympathy Store.
MEMORIAL EVENTS
Mar
15
Visitation
3:00p.m. - 7:00p.m.
St. Katharine Drexel Parish - St. Mary Church
119 W. 7th Street, Kaukauna, WI
Mar
15
Visitation
3:00p.m. - 7:00p.m.
St. Katharine Drexel Parish, St. Mary Church
119 W. 7th Street, Kaukauna, WI
Mar
16
Funeral Mass
11:00a.m.
WI
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12 Entries
Our prayers are with you.
Joyce Swingle
March 16, 2021
To the family of Ray Schmidt,
I wanted to share my first visit to USAutoforce. I was waiting in the lobby when Ray came out of the elevator and came up to me and introduced himself. I informed him I was Scott Randall with Michelin and you could see his eyes light up. He started to discuss his tires on an older pickup truck and the growth they were experiencing with the tire business. He was full of pride and excitement when discussing the business and you could see how proud he was that the company was continuing to grow. It was a great first experience for me and demonstrated where the values that US Venture practices comes from. I knew then that working with this account was going to be very rewarding. Thanks Ray!
Scott Randall
Friend
March 16, 2021
Sorry to hear about the passing of Ray. He came from a wonderful family, and was very blessed.
Earl and Connie Wanke
Family
March 15, 2021
Ray was very good to St. Vincent dePaul in Kaukauna. Our sincere condolences to his family.
St. Vincent dePaul, Kaukauna
Acquaintance
March 15, 2021
You are a true inspiration to many! Thank you for teaching us gratitude and giving.
Amy Crozier
Coworker
March 14, 2021
Lisa A. Stage
March 14, 2021
Rich and Joyce Swingle
March 14, 2021
Thoughts and prayers for the family ! Ray was truly a remarkable person, so much love for all, . The twinkle in his eyes, the smile on his face , and his words of wisdom and encouragement will be missed but the memories will go on for ever. Much love Jean and Ron Brinkman
Jean Brinkman
Friend
March 13, 2021
What a great guy. Our thoughts and prayers are with all of you. I know he was always willing to help someone out. Bev and John Stock
John and Bev Stock
Friend
March 13, 2021
Your Friends at USA Luge
March 12, 2021
Ray was a great man and such a good guy. He and his wife Tweet were always so good to me and my past coworkers. He helped alot of us get through school...they did so many great things for many communities and other organizations....God bless him and rest in peace. Ray, I know you are with Angel's today in heaven......you for indeed were an angel on earth.
Michelle Ebben
Friend
March 11, 2021
Ray was a great man and such a good guy. He and his wife Tweet were always so good to me and my past coworkers. He helped alot of us get through school...they did so many great things for many communities and other organizations....God bless him and rest in peace. Ray, I know you are with Angel's today in heaven......you for sure were an angel on earth.
Michelle Ebben
March 11, 2021
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