January 8, 1932 – October 28, 2016
Wolfgang Schmidt, born on January 8, 1932 in Koeslin Germany, experienced life through the lens of a camera. From his first Eastman box camera at age eight, given by his parents Eberhard and Ruth (Naetebus) Schmidt, Wolfgang’s photographs
spanned his years growing up in WWII Berlin to his 30 years traveling for work in international data processing at Siemans, Bayer, and Miles Laboratory. After his retirement in 1998, his love for people and indigenous tribes led him to travel the world capturing portraits he exhibited as Sacred Faces.
After graduating from Cologne University, Wolfgang worked on early computers as a graduate student at New Haven College, Connecticut in the 1960’s, where he met Ellen Louise Nickerson of Hyannis Massachussets, his surviving wife of 52 years. He loved the water, whether swimming, sailing, kayaking, windsurfing, or sipping his coffee milkshakes while watching waves on Nausett beach near his summer home on Cape Cod. He was proud to have boogie boarded this past summer with his five grandchildren.
Wolfgang was a deeply spiritual man, praying each morning with his wife for family, loved ones, and the world. A recent convert to Roman Catholicism, the ringing of the bells at Sacred Heart parish reminded him of his German childhood.
Surprisingly young for 84, his family and his wide circle of friends are mourning Fuff’s unexpected death on October 28, while visiting family in Farmington Hills, Michigan.
Wolfgang is survived by his wife, Ellen (Nickerson) Schmidt; three children: Megan (Schmidt) and Mark Olson (Farmington Hills, MI), Carsten and Renee Schmidt (South Bend, IN), and Erik and Laura Schmidt (Spokane, WA); brother, Eberhard (Berlin); five grand children, Anya, Marianna, and Talia Olson (Farmington Hills) and Kelci and Reid Schmidt (South Bend); and two nephews, Eberhard (Cologne) and Marius (Zurich). He was preceded in death by two brothers: Guenther and Heinz Schmidt.
A Celebration of Life will be held on Tuesday at 7:00PM at the McGann Hay, Granger Chapel, 13260 SR 23, with visitation with the family starting at 4PM. The Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 3:30PM on Wednesday at The Basilica Of The Sacred Heart, Notre Dame.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Bethany Miracle Village, a Ugandan project close to the family’s heart, 57721 Crumstown Hwy., South Bend, IN 46619.
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