Date of Birth
Date of Death
ROBERT J. “Bob” SCHMITT, age 80, of Hampshire, passed away surrounded by the love and prayers of his family on Sunday, October 25, 2015 at St. Joseph Hospital in Elgin.
He was born February 24, 1935, the youngest of twelve and the son of John J. and Margaret M. (Loerzel) Schmitt on the family farm in Virgil.
Bob grew up in Virgil and kept busy helping with the chores while attending local schools.
Bob was “the shy guy” in the corner that caught the eye of Janice Lorenz. It took a bit of courage but Bob asked her out the very next weekend and by the end, he caught more than her eye, he had Janiceâ€™s heart as well. They were united in marriage on November 12, 1954 in South Dakota in DeSmet, (where Little Town On The Prairie was filmed) only one block away from Ingallâ€™s store.
They began their new life together back in Illinois and lived for a time in St. Charles while working construction. Soon after, Bob returned to his roots on the family farm before building a home of his own, the first of many, in 1957. Each subsequent home that was built never strayed much from their community of friends, family and farmers. They were blessed with four children who filled each home with love and laughter.
The work ethic born from his time on the farm lent itself well to the many jobs he held over the years, not to mention the six houses he built. Bob was a heavy equipment operator for thirty years in addition to the years of general construction and driving truck on many Sundays hauling milk for his brother, Ralph “Pat”. Basically, between working and building homes, as soon as he finished working his job, Bob picked up his tools once again and went back to work, only this time for himself. Bob finally retired in 1993 but couldnâ€™t help himself and built one last house a year later in Hampshire.
Bob was a proud member of the International Union of Operating Engineers, Local #150.
Bob was a certifiable “work-a-holic” but that didnâ€™t mean that he could relax and have a little fun. As a young man he raced go-carts at Bob-Jo Speedway and built three remote control airplanes that soared through the sky. He and Janice bowled together on local leagues and Bob wasnâ€™t a stranger to the golf course either. Bob loved to cast a line with his family in both local creeks and Canada alike. His prowess on water skiâ€™s was disproportionate to his ability to swim. Itâ€™s rumored he had to be that good because he had no alternative! His hard working hands came to rest as his body began to tire, but his spirit could never be stopped. He now lives forever (and is probably building) his home in Heaven.
He is survived by his loving wife Janice; Four children: Duane (Mary) Schmitt, Gail (Les) Brage, Lynette Schmitt and Ann Marie (Tim) Thompson; Nine grandchildren: Greg (Amanda) Schmitt, Doug (Katie) Schmitt, Michael (Tara) Schmitt, Derek Harmon, Robert (Jacqueline)Harmon, T.J. Thompson, Aaron Thompson, Jamie Barwick and Brandy Barwick; Five great-grandchildren: Brianna, Jackson, Beckett, Alexa and Karsen; three siblings: Ralph Schmitt, Jean (George) Raymer and John (Diana) Schmitt; many nieces, nephews and a family of friends.
He is preceded in death by his parents and eight siblings.
Visitation will be from 4-8 p.m., Wednesday, October 28, 2015, at Conley Funeral Home, 116 W. Pierce St., Elburn, IL. A funeral to celebrate his life will be at 11 a.m., Thursday, October 29, 2015, also at the funeral home. Interment will follow at North Plato Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his name to The National Kidney Foundation of Illinois at 215 W Illinois St #1c, Chicago, IL 60654. Tributes may also be forwarded to the same address or on the web at www.conleycare.com or on the Conley Funeral Home Facebook Page.
A funeral to celebrate his life will be at 11 a.m., Thursday, October 29, 2015, also at the funeral home.
Visitation will be from 4-8 p.m., Wednesday, October 28, 2015, at Conley Funeral Home, 116 W. Pierce St., Elburn, IL.
Interment will follow at North Plato Cemetery.