Thomas was born on March 28th, 1946, in Timmendorfer Strand, Germany to his parents, John and Hildegard Schmidt. His family immigrated to the United States in 1952 when Thomas was 6 years old. They settled in Columbus, Ohio.
Thomas graduated from Bishop Watterson High School in 1964. He graduated from the Columbus Technical Institute in 1966 with an Electronic Technician Degree. General Electric hired three whole classes during the height of the Vietnam War in 1966 to work on civilian radar bases as contract employees to the government. Thomas was hired for 18 months to go to a U.S. Air Force Base in Diyarbakir, Turkey. After a brief furlough he went to an American base in the Aleutian Islands, AK for another 18 months. After three years he came home and went into business with his parents building homes.
The Schmidt family moved to Arizona in 1972 to build homes in Fountain Hills, AZ.
In 1973, at the Casa de Paz y Bien, in Paradise Valley, AZ, Thomas met Fr. Louis Hasenfuss, O.S.B., a Benedictine Abbot, who asked him to build a chapel and outbuildings for a Benedictine Monastery called The Holy Trinity Monastery in St. David, AZ. The buildings were made of rammed earth, a form that Thomas would introduce to the area.
Thomas married Anne Winegardner in 1993. They settled in St. David where Thomas continued building rammed earth homes and Anne taught middle school science and high school chemistry at St. David Unified School District. They found each other later in life and were blessed with a child.
Thomas was active at his church, Our Lady of Lourdes in Benson, AZ. He sang and played guitar for the Saturday Vigil Mass. Anne and son, joined him for a family chorus.
Thomas is survived by his son, Johnny; his brother, Michael Schmidt (Barbara); his sister, Monika Aylward; his sister, Maria Spiess (Artur); his sister, Felicity Erdmann; his brother, John (Jennifer); his brother, Chris (Lorraine); his brother, Bernie; his sister, Theresa Franklin (Robin).
He is preceded in death by his wife, Anne; his sister, Barbara Bohland.
A funeral service will take place on March 7th at 11:00 p.m. at Our Lady of Lourdes, Benson, AZ. All are welcome to attend and celebrate Thomas Schmidt’s life. Thomas’ ashes will be interred at The Holy Trinity Monastery cemetery in St. David after Mass. In lieu of flowers, please donate to St. Vincent de Paul.
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