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Obituary for Michael Richard Schmitt

Michael Richard  Schmitt
Schmitt, Michael Richard

Michael danced with his Dragon (myeloma) for over 7 years; each taking turns leading in the dance of life. Sadly, the dance has ended and final bows were taken on January 10, 2019, surrounded by family.

Beloved life partner of Deborah and loving father to Kateland and her partner Stefano. Sadly missed by his mother-in-law, Veronica Zettel and sisters, Patti Zettel & Sindey Melhlhorn, and Janet Zettel and her daughter, Veronica. Loving brother to Daniel and his children, Natalie and David. Michael leaves behind his step-brothers Roderick Smith, Dean Smith ( Roseanne) and David Smith (Frauke) and their children. Michael is remembered by the Wilgress family, Debbie Baer (Jeff), Jim (Wanda), Donnie, Barry (Teresa), and their children.
Predeceased by his father Joseph (1995), mother Shirley Smith ( 2012), step-father Rhoderick Smith ( 2016), step-mother Marjorie Schmitt (2016) and sister Katherine Zettel (2012).

Michael spent 37 proud years in Catholic Education in Ontario, serving as teacher, principal, supervisory officer and director of education. Michael began his teaching career at Nicholson Catholic College in Belleville where he taught physics, mathematics, and special education. One of his proudest moments was his appointment as founding principal of Resurrection Catholic Secondary School in 1988. Following a move to Monsignor Doyle CSS and St. David CSS, Michael was appointed supervisory officer (2000) with responsibilities for curriculum and special education. In 2005, he was seconded to the Literacy & Numeracy Secretariat at the Ministry of Education and in September 2005 appointed Director of Education of Algonquin Lakeshore CDSB where he remained until 2011. Immediately following, Michael founded the legal and support services department at Catholic Principals’ of Ontario in Toronto. In his final working role, Michael happily agreed to return to Waterloo Catholic DSB and assume the interim Director of Education role for 2014-2015.

In retirement, Michael was involved in many community initiatives. Most notably, Michael served on the board and as president of Supportive Housing of Waterloo (SHOW), a cause very dear to his heart. Over the years Michael has also served on the YMCA board of directors, and volunteered with the Hamilton Diocese Finance Advisory Committee, United Way Waterloo Region, Hospice Waterloo Region, Out of the Cold, Rotary Club of Waterloo, and St. Louis Community Supper.

Michael's family will receive relatives and friends from 2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. on Wednesday, January 16, 2019 at the Henry Walser Funeral Home, 507 Frederick Street, Kitchener, 519-749-8467. Prayers will be offered at the funeral home at 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at St. Louis RC Church, 53 Allen St. E. Waterloo, on Thursday, January 17, 2019 at 11:00 a.m. immediately followed by a reception in the Church Hall. Cremation to follow. Burial at Parkview Cemetery will occur at a later date.

As expressions of sympathy, donations can be made to Supportive Housing of Waterloo or Algonquin and Lakeshore Catholic Education Foundation (cards available at the funeral home).
Visit for Michael's memorial.

Michael expresses appreciation to all the colleagues, students and friends who have touched his life. We will miss him at the annual summer gathering on the patio.
Much appreciation is expressed to Dr. Amy Tam, Nurse Sue, Dr. Tom Borys, the nurturing team in the chemo suite, Vanessa, Margot, Laura and Dr. Yew from Paramed.

Michael acknowledges the School Sisters of Notre Dame, the Congregation of the Resurrection and Sisters of St. Vincent DePaul (Kingston) whose charisms influenced Michael’s life.

~ To God Through Grace and Wisdom ~
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