Dorothy Marie Legge Schmidt (1923-2019)
June 29, 2019 – Our mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, teacher, artist and friend passed from us peacefully last night as she slept. Dorothy Marie Legge Schmidt was 95.
Her long life began Sept. 10, 1923, in Penns Grove, N.J., when she was born to Harold and Veronica (Linenberger) Legge. She was raised in rural Rush county, in McCracken, Kan., the eldest daughter of eight children.
Dorothy grew up in a German and Russian German household in the Catholic faith. Her maternal grandfather, Joseph Linenberger, was German from the Volga region of Russia. Her paternal grandparents were from Germany. Her values are those of small farm town America of earnest diligence, hard work and integrity.
Dorothy always had a passion for learning. She read every book and magazine she could get her hands on. As she advanced in school from one level to the next, she would be called upon to help teach the younger children.
She was a musician and played guitar, piano and accordion for a local dance band. Even in her later years, she could remember the words and melody to many of those old-timey songs.
She married Edwin Schmidt of rural Kansas on Dec. 29, 1948 at Schoenchen, Kan. They settled in Ellis, Kan. where they raised their seven children. Their second child, Donny, died at birth. Raising six boys and one daughter was an “adventure,” as she would say. Her tales were limitless and included the time she was picked up by a tornado and tossed twenty feet away unscathed and ready to face another twister. She was Dorothy from Kansas, after all.
Some considered her a “modern woman,” as she always strived to do more. She wrote articles for the Lacrosse newspaper, sold World Book encyclopedias, worked on the farm and designed and built two houses in Hays.
Her husband, Eddie, died in 1978 after a prolonged battle with cancer. She later settled in Fountain Hills and continued her career as a china painter. She was well known in the china painting community and was able to garner quite a following. She began to teach others. Over her 40-year career, she produced hundreds of pieces of art, taught scores of students and studied and showed her skills in Europe and South America.
Dorothy was a world traveler and had visited nearly every continent and dozens of countries including Russia, Egypt, Japan, Greece, South America and most of Europe, not to mentioned all around the U.S. She even organized tours which allowed her to travel for free. From all points of the globe, she brought exotic gifts back to her children and friends.
With an ever-present smile, Dorothy had countless friends and was always a standout at the Schmidt Family Reunions in Kansas. She has a quick wit, remarkable memory and steadfast opinions. She was admired by many and loved by her many friends and large family. She was proud of all of them and was eager to share in the joy of each of their lives.
Dorothy was preceded in death by her parents; her five brothers and two sisters; her husband, Eddie; sons, Donny, Bob, Ronnie, and Larry; and grandson; Elijah. She is survived by her daughter, Susan Schmidt (John Lumpp) of Johnstown, Colo., and her sons, Kenny (Becky) and Terry, both of the Phoenix area; 13 grandchildren, Paige, Cassie, Paula, Tiffany, Noah, Christi, Carey, GeAnn, Peter, Shea, Aaron, Quinn, and Erica, who was always by her; 13 great-grandchildren; five great-great grandchildren; dozens of nieces and nephews. She will be missed.
On Aug. 17, 2019, in Hays, Kan., a celebration of life for her and her son, Bob Schmidt, will be held at Saint Joseph’s Cemetery. The family invites you to share your memories of Dorothy at weremember.com/dorothy-schmidt/1s7k/memories and for Bob at weremember.com/robert-schmidt/5c3g/memories.