2017-09-28 / Obituaries

William Schmidt

William (Bill) Schmidt, 92, passed away peacefully at home in Yaqui Gulch on Sept. 14, 2017.

He is survived by his beloved wife of 71 years, Dorothy “Marian”; four daughters: Cherie Baroni of Santa Barbara; Candace Oserin and her husband, Seth, of Ventura; Connie Crocker of Ventura; and Cynthia Hunter and her husband, Bo, of New Mexico; grandson, Matt Crocker, and his wife, Elise, of Huntsville, Ala.; and great-grandchildren, William and Maya Crocker.

Bill was born March 9, 1925, in Detroit, Mich., where he grew up on a farm and was a great outdoorsman, including hunting, trapping, and fishing. He met his first and only love, Dorothy Marian Gurnee, who lived on a nearby farm. The two were married in Howell, Mich., on June 23, 1946, after Bill finished serving in World War II as Aviation Radio Man 2nd Class in the Pacific Campaign. He suffered permanent, painful leg injuries when his bomber crashed in the Philippines, but he continued working for 45 years as a civil servant for defense contractors in Michigan and California. Bill received his Engineering degree from Western Michigan and master’s degree from Michigan State while working.

Bill and Marian retired to their lovely home in Mariposa nearly 30 years ago and enjoyed learning about the Native American, pioneer, and gold mining history of the area. They were active in the community growing vegetables for the Manna House, collecting rocks with the Gem and Mineral Club, metal detecting for artifacts and attending the Mariposa United Methodist Church.

Bill’s greatest passion was history, and he was a Civil War expert. While bedridden the past 10 years, he still enjoyed looking out over the lake and watching animals around his property. His friends and family will always remember his determination, quick wit and adoration for his wife whom he affectionately called “Charmer.”

Per Bill’s wishes, he will be cremated and interred at California Central Coast Veterans Cemetery overlooking the Pacific Ocean in Seaside, Calif. (adjacent to where he and Marian celebrated many anniversaries in Monterey). A memorial will be held later. Thank you to friends and caregivers who visited and cared for him.

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