Gene Allen Schmidt, 77, passed away peacefully on March 27th, 2021 after an extended hospital stay resulting from a fall and complications from congestive heart failure. A celebration of life will be held on Wednesday, May 5th at 10:00 a.m. at Village Presbyterian Church – 6641 Mission Rd, Prairie Village, KS 66208. To help comply with Covid-related guidelines, please RSVP here so the family can communicate any unforeseen changes. The service will also be available virtually.
- Love, family, and friendship were the heart of Gene’s world. He was a dedicated husband to his wife, Peggy for 55 years. Their marriage was a testament of true love and teamwork. They shared a lifetime of memories and weathered many storms. Gene enjoyed playing pinball, and attending rock concerts, especially Bon Jovi, with his younger daughter, Jeni (Cosgrove.) He was a supportive and kind-hearted father-in-law to Jim. He was an active, childlike grandfather (Papa) to Lyda and Willa, always beaming in their presence. Gene adored the family dogs who are missing his walks and unconditional love.
Gene was born on Nov. 2nd, 1943, to Nick and Hilda Schmidt and his brother, Marvin in Hoisington, KS. (His parents and brother proceeded him in death.) Gene graduated from Hoisington High school in 1961. He received an English degree from Pittsburg State University where he was student body president, and a charter member of the Zeta Iota Chapter of the Sigma Chi Fraternity. Gene was one of the chapter’s first Consuls and was involved with the Alumni Association for many years. Gene was Zeta Iota’s 3rd Recipient of the Sigma Chi National “Significant Sig Award” in 1999 for his incredible dedication to advocating for victims’ rights after the tragic murder of his older daughter, Stephanie in 1993. With the help of friends and lawmakers, the Schmidt family started the Speak Out for Stephanie Foundation to create public awareness for victims’ rights, through which they successfully changed laws and saved lives. Their advocacy work was recognized by multiple awards, including the National Crime Victims’ Service Award. Gene also served as the Victims’ Rights Coordinator for the State of Kansas.
Gene’s charismatic personality and creative talents kept him connected to a variety of communities. Some knew him when he was an English teacher, photographer, real estate agent, and advertising consultant. Throughout every chapter of his life, he made many lifelong friendships. Gene loved popping popcorn to share with friends. Neighbor children always looked forward to popcorn on Halloween too. He made a lasting impression with his quirky sense of humor and unforgettable, radiant smile.
The family has requested that remembrances be made in the form of contributions to the community outreach programs provided through Colonial Church. In Gene’s honor, we can continue to make a difference in the lives of others.