Joseph W. Schmidt obituary photo
 
In Memory of

Joseph W. Schmidt

May 11, 1927 - August 6, 2017

Obituary


Joseph W. Schmidt (Joe), 90, of Eastham, MA passed away on Sunday August 6th after a lengthy battle with Alzheimer's. Joe is survived by his loving wife of 38 years, Meg Schmidt; his children Michael Schmidt and his wife Carol of Durham, CT; Joanne Schmidt of Woburn, MA; Nancy Higgins and her husband Tom of Bethesda, MD; Alison Schaal and her husband Matt of Bend, OR; their mother Ann Mills of Milford, CT; Meg's children Robert Sullivan and his wife Nancy of Tilghman Island, MD; Patricia Rosen and her husband Rick, of Weston, CT; and...

Joseph W. Schmidt (Joe), 90, of Eastham, MA passed away on Sunday August 6th after a lengthy battle with Alzheimer's. Joe is survived by his loving wife of 38 years, Meg Schmidt; his children Michael Schmidt and his wife Carol of Durham, CT; Joanne Schmidt of Woburn, MA; Nancy Higgins and her husband Tom of Bethesda, MD; Alison Schaal and her husband Matt of Bend, OR; their mother Ann Mills of Milford, CT; Meg's children Robert Sullivan and his wife Nancy of Tilghman Island, MD; Patricia Rosen and her husband Rick, of Weston, CT; and Edward Sullivan of Newtown, CT; Joe's sister Claire Sacramone and her husband Tom of Chatham, MA; Joe and Meg's grand and great grandchildren: Michael Schmidt, his wife Stephanie, and Eric Schmidt; Nick and Andrew Schaal; Sean and Marleigh Sullivan, Caitlin Sullivan Campbell, her husband Chris, and their Son Connor; Brittany, Danielle, and Carlye, Rosen; Alexander and Macgregor Sullivan; as well as many beloved nieces, nephews, cousins and in-laws. Joe was predeceased by his brother and best friend John (Jack) Schmidt.
Joe was born on May 11, 1927 in New Haven Connecticut to Catherine and Adam Schmidt. Joe was the eldest of three - Joseph (Joe), John (Jack 1929-1985), and Claire. After graduating from Hillhouse High School, Joe joined the U.S. Navy and served aboard an LST in the South Pacific during World War II. After the war Joe attended New Haven State Teachers College (now Southern Connecticut State University); at school Joe excelled in football and basketball and graduated with a teaching degree. After college Joe married Ann Collins and the two moved to Honolulu Hawaii where Joe taught at the U of Hawaii's elementary school for the children of faculty members. Son Michael was born in Hawaii, and after moving back to Connecticut, daughters Joanne, Nancy, and Alison were born.
Joe continued his teaching career at Eastern Connecticut State College in Willimantic, and later moved the family to Framingham, MA where he held his first elementary school principal position at Hastings School. The Schmidt family lived in Framingham from 1960-1967 where they made many friends and where Joe became a lifelong Red Sox fan thanks to Yaz and the Impossible Dream Team.
In 1968 Joe and the family moved to Newtown, CT where Joe had accepted a position as the principal of Sandy Hook Elementary School. Over the years Joe would occasionally open the gym on the weekend for his kids, their friends, or visiting cousins to shoot some hoops or climb the ropes - always a fun time. In Newtown Joe served as principal of Sandy Hook from 1968-1975, and later principal of Middle Gate School from 1976 until his retirement in 1984. Joe was an avid golfer (rain or shine) and member of Newtown Country Club; he was also active in the Lion's Club, the St. Rose Sports Guild, and the Newtown Ski Club.
In 1979 Joe married Meg Sullivan of Newtown. Joe and Meg moved to Eastham, MA in 1984 where they enjoyed an active retirement. Joe and Meg played golf regularly at their club, Chequessett in Wellfleet; over the years Joe played on the Men's Senior Softball Ben & Jerry's Team, enjoyed power boating, kayaking, fishing, and clamming; he changed cars every couple of years, enjoyed looking at real estate, and loved his fried clams. Meg paints with the Eastham Painter's Guild, and Joe often helped out at Meg's art shows. Over the years Joe and Meg welcomed many visitors from the Schmidt/Sullivan/Higgins/Rosen/Schaal extended family, leaving all with memories to cherish of their happy times on the Cape. Joe and Meg also travelled extensively; some of their favorite trips were to Hilton Head Island, Savannah, Sanibel Florida, Palm Springs California, England, and Ireland.
Joe was diagnosed with Alzheimer's in 2005 taking Meg and the family through the difficult "longest goodbye". Meg was Joe's tireless and loving caregiver for several years until a nursing facility became necessary. The only small blessing delivered by Joe's disease was that by 2012 he no longer had comprehension or awareness of current events, so for Joe, the last memories of Sandy Hook were of a bustling happy elementary school full of children that he loved. After the unthinkable events of 12/14/12, imagining Newtown's fallen children and educators as shining stars in the heavens provided some small comfort. The Schmidt and Sullivan families feel comforted that Joe is now at peace and has taken his place among these stars together with the family and friends who have passed before him.
Farewell Joe - Sailor Joe, Principal Joe, Uncle Joe, Grandpa Joe, Big Papi, and Dad - we will love and miss you always.
The family will celebrate Joe's life later this fall.
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