In Memory

Frederick Schmidt

Frederick Schmidt

  Post Comment

09/03/12 11:21 PM #1    

Fred Cooper

I sent this to Craig Cone a couple of days after attending Fred's funeral---2---7---2012.         
Craig, I meant to send this off last Friday but for some reason, did not.  I attended Fred’s funeral last Friday and it was a pretty emotional and moving event.
For the past couple of years, Fred and I would meet for breakfast or lunch every month or two and he and Connie came over to join us for my son Jeff’s graduation celebration, my oldest son JJ’s return from Portland, Oregon during the graduation/holidays (December, 2009) and a neighborhood gathering Lori and I put together that rolled all these activities in to one event.
Fred and Connie met Jeff’s and JJ’s friends, our neighbors and they both just fit right in.

Unless I asked how he was feeling, he never mentioned his health and he never complained about what life had thrown his way.

Late last fall, I called to set up our next outing but he said he was either going to or coming from a doctor’s appointment (I don’t remember which) and would call me back when he was up to talking...he never did and over time I guess I just forgot about it until I read about his death...I now wish I would have taken the initiative to call to check up on him.

I talked to Connie when I found out and she said it was a blessing since he was in so much pain and had been for some time.
At the funeral, I met his remaining two daughters and their families---his son died in 2003 from a stroke or heart attack while living in Alaska---and it was a very moving service.
Fred has four grand children (all boys) and a fairly large extended family that includes several that moved to Arizona.   I knew a couple from being in McHenry but met others that I’d heard about but had never met.  
Many of his Arizona friends, neighbors, relatives and others took turns telling a Fred story or two--mostly funny and some really profoundly deeply felt experiences of knowing him..


While I had a couple I could have told, I didn’t for fear I couldn’t have finished my story.

You may know many more members of his family than I do and perhaps even more of his life story given he stayed in and around McHenry until sometime in 2000 when he moved here.
When we'd get together, he often hinted about some of the stuff he was in to and got away with years ago and it was always with a smile and twinkle in his eye---more for having gotten away with that stuff than the actual events/activities themselves I think.
Fred was one of those guys you (at least for me) knew and just liked.
I don’t recall he was in sports or the band or the class plays but was just an average, all around decent guy that I think knew everyone and most everyone knew him.    Of course, you may have different memories but these are mine.
I think we had 5 Freds in our class...Pike, Sorenson, Kusch, Schmidt and some other guy.
Sorenson is gone, Schmidt is now gone, I don’t know what’s going on with Pike so there’s a 40 to 60% mortality rate for Fred’s, MCHS class of ‘64.   

I keep in contact w/Kusch and as of last Thursday, he’s still on the right side of the grass so I wonder if we need to get a last man standing bottle of brandy for the last man standing Fred of ‘64.

Anyway, a sad, moving and insightful funeral about the footprints we leave behind.

I can’t remember him without a smile and a kind word even in the rough world of junior and high school and that seems to have been ingrained in his persona.
The video and montage of pictures shown prior to and after the service and on tables around the room were telling in that he was always in the center, smiling and appearing to truly be enjoying himself.
I now wish I really would have gotten to know him better while we were young and stayed in closer contact when we reconnected in Arizona.
Well done being....anyway, take care and stay healthy.


  Post Comment