July 7, 2019
Bernard (Bernie) David Schmidt, 76, died on July 7, 2019, in Parker, Colorado, after a long illness.
Bernie was predeceased by his first wife, Jan; his parents, Leonard and Adeline (Anetsberger) Schmidt; sister-in-law, Lola (Obernberger) Schmidt; and grand niece, Hannah Morman. He is survived by his second wife, Mona Key; daughter, Kim McLelland (Ken) of Raleigh, North Carolina; son, David (Anne) of Sacramento, California; five grandchildren: Sophie, Briar, Charlotte, Reed, and Lulu; four sisters: Carolyn Herbst (Robert) of Park Falls, Norma Gassett (Bud) of Statesville, North Carolina, Nancy Dosch (Dennis) of Richland Center, and Christine Rand (Dan) of Rochester, Minnesota; and three brothers: Leonard (friend Barbara) of Park Falls, Kenneth (Eileen) of Birchwood, and Paul (Deb) of Park Falls; 22 nieces and nephews, and numerous great nieces and nephews.
Bernie was born in Park Falls and attended Stout State University in Menominee. He earned a degree in systems engineering while serving in the ROTC. He married Jan McCollum in 1968 and went on to serve as an F4 pilot in the Marine Corps. Bernie served in Vietnam and was later stationed at Yuma, Arizona; Quantico, Virginia; Iwokuni, Japan; Camp Pendleton and El Toro Air Bases in California.
He retired from the Marine Corps as a Lieutenant Colonel after 24 years of service. He then utilized his vast experience from the Marine Corps to enter the aerospace industry. He was part of the development and implementation team who flew the first Global Hawk unmanned reconnaissance plane over Afghanistan after 9-11. His exciting career allowed him to live in Australia and Germany while testing the Global Hawk.
Bernie spent the majority of his retirement years in San Diego and Coronado, California, and remarried after the loss of his first wife. He enjoyed the outdoors and remained very fit by participating in numerous 100-plus mile bicycle endurance races. Although Bernie spent most of his lifetime away from the Midwest, he never forgot his roots and was seldom seen without a Green Bay Packers baseball cap.
A kind, loving husband, father and grandfather, Bernie's smiling eyes and engaging sense of humor will be greatly missed by family and friends.
Bernie will be interred at a later date at Arlington National Cemetery, Washington, DC.