Harry Jacob Schmidt, 88, of Geneseo, passed away Wednesday, July 16, 2014 at Unity Point Hospital in Rock Island. A funeral service celebrating his life will be held at 11am on Tuesday, July 22, 2014 at Grace United Methodist Church in Geneseo. Rev. Melva England will officiate. Burial will follow at the National Cemetery in Rock Island, where military honors will be accorded by the Don Cherry VFW Post #5083. A visitation will be held from 9-11 am on Tuesday at the church, 2 hours prior to funeral service. Memorials may be made to Grace Methodist Church. Vandemore Funeral Homes, Geneseo is assisting the family with arrangements.
Harry was born in New York City, April 13, 1926. He was raised in the small town of Larchmont, NY, graduating from Mamaroneck High School there. Harry served in the Army of the United States from June 1944 through June 1946 as a radio operator in the Corps of Military Police. He attended Thomas S. Clarkson Memorial College of Technology (now Clarkson University) in Potsdam, NY, graduating 1950, with honors and a degree in mechanical engineering. He was elected to Tau Beta Pi national engineering honor society, and Pi Tau Sigma, national mechanical engineering honor society. Harry married the former Joan K. Durling in 1952. They had one son, Kurt Harry, currently of Davenport. Harry moved his family from the east to Geneseo in 1974. His career included Curtiss Wright Corporation, working on large reciprocating and turbojet aircraft engines, Thiokol Chemical Corporation’s Reaction Motors Division working on liquid rocket engines, a brief stay in general construction and a sheet metal stamping industry, and civil service for the U.S. Army. Harry retired from Rock Island Arsenal in 1994. He was an avid shooter in trap and skeet as well as rifles and pistols. He obtained a private pilot’s license in 1948, enjoyed flying, and in 1990 built and flew his own small airplane. Harry was a member of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association for over 50 years, a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, and a Benefactor member of the National Rifle Association. Harry was active in church and community affairs, serving as president of the Band Boosters, serving on the Geneseo Zoning Board, and one term as mayor of the city of Geneseo.
He is survived by his wife, Joan, and his son Kurt Schmidt of Davenport.
He was preceded in death by his parents and one sister.