Gene A. Schmidt
- August 20, 2023
Gene A. Schmidt
Gene A. Schmidt, 90, passed away on Aug. 16, 2023, in Marion, Iowa. He was born on March 26, 1933, in Davenport, Iowa, to Arno J. and Elzaida M. Schmidt. He grew up in Fairfield, Iowa, graduating from high school there and from the University of Iowa in Iowa City. After college, he joined The Merchants National Bank of Cedar Rapids (now U S Bank) and was employed there for 36 years, retiring July 1, 1991, as a vice president.
Gene was associated with several social, community, and professional organizations in Cedar Rapids. A founder and treasurer of the Cedar Rapids Bachelor’s Club, he met his wife to be, Bonnie Hagen, at a Club party. Bonnie came to Cedar Rapids from Grinnell, Iowa, where she graduated from Grinnell College. She taught at Arthur Elementary School in Cedar Rapids until her marriage with Gene in 1962. Gene served as a director and treasurer of the local chapter of The American Red Cross, and as a Vestryman at Grace Episcopal Church and Saint Michael’s Episcopal Church (now Christ Episcopal). He was a member and director of local chapters of two financial organizations: Robert Morris Associates and the National Association of Accountants.
Gene enjoyed playing his clarinet and saxophone with several bands. He qualified to join the Fairfield High School Band while still in grade school. At age 14, the 34th Division, Iowa National Guard, asked him if he would like to play in their band for a week at Camp Dodge in Des Moines while the 34th Division reorganized there after World War II. The time spent with them convinced him to enlist as soon as he was old enough. He served for 10 years. At age 16, he became a member of The American Federation of Musicians and was hired professionally in a southeastern Iowa dance band. One of Gene’s thrills as a musician was being tutored by a gentleman who had been a clarinetist in John Philip Sousa’s Band in the mid 1920s.
At age 43, Gene rediscovered the simple pleasures of riding a bicycle. Over the following 27 years, he traveled Iowa’s highways for over 81,000 happy miles.
Gene is survived by his children, Mark (Terri) Schmidt of Cedar Rapids; Jennifer (Mrs. Blair Johnston) of Waukee, Iowa; and grandchildren, Bridget, Jaron and Jaclyn Johnston.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Bonnie; brother, Jack Schmidt of Fairfield, Iowa; and sister, Jane (Mrs. Harold J. “Gus” Schrader) of Cedar Rapids.
At Gene’s request, there was an immediate cremation. There will be a private inurnment service at a later date with only immediate family attending.
Online condolences may be directed to the family at www.cedarmemorial.com under obituaries.