In Memory

Paul Arthur Schmidt

Paul Arthur Schmidt

Paul Arthur Schmidt

1 Apr 1953 in Beatrice, Nebraska - 8 Sep 2020 in Madison, Wisconsin 

MADISON / ST. LOUIS, Mo. - Paul Arthur Schmidt, age 67, of Madison, passed away on Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2020, at UW Hospital and Clinics. He was born on April 1, 1953, in Beatrice, Neb., the son of Walter and Esther (Dyck) Schmidt. 

Paul married Deborah Fortner on Aug. 12, 1978, after meeting during their Marriage and Family class at Goshen College. Paul and Deb built their life together in St. Louis where they raised their two children. Paul was a longtime member of the St. Louis Mennonite Fellowship and was active in church leadership and teaching all ages in Sunday School at different times while there. His faith was reflected throughout his life in his commitment to many peace and social justice issues. Most notably, he was on the board of directors at Project Peanut Butter, an organization addressing severe malnutrition in Sub-Saharan Africa; as well as Project Cope, an organization dedicated to helping people returning from prison adjust to life at home. Paul would also join Bethesda Mennonite Church, monthly, to worship at the Mary Ryder Nursing Home in St. Louis. 

Paul moved to Madison, Wis., earlier this year to be closer to family while undergoing treatment for leukemia. He began attending the Madison Mennonite Fellowship and enjoyed building relationships there. He enjoyed reading, listening to NPR, engaging in conversation, going on long, meandering car rides and most of all, spending time with his family. 

Paul is survived by his daughter, Amanda Schmidt; son, Benjamin (Erik Paulson) Schmidt; his mother, Esther Schmidt; two sisters, Anita Schmidt and Julie (Donald Mokrynski) Schmidt; brother, John (Jean Wollmann) Schmidt; and many nieces, nephews, cousins, friends and two granddogs (Charles and Tip). He was preceded in death by his wife, Deborah Schmidt; and his father, Walter John Schmidt. 

Memorials may be made in Paul’s name to Project Peanut Butter ( or to the Mennonite Central Committee ( Online condolences may be made at