Obituary: Randel Schmidt, 93

Randel Schmidt, beloved husband of Eleanor (Hartman) Schmidt, entered eternal life peacefully at his home with his wife, just as he wanted on Tuesday August 13th days before his 94th birthday. Born in Torrington August 26, 1925, he was the son of the late Henry and Catherine (Gibbons) Schmidt. He served in the US Navy during WWII in the Southwest Pacific Theater. His career with the Dept. of Corrections in Cheshire spanned 21 years. He began as a guard and was promoted to Captain after only six years. He gained the respect and admiration of both rank and file and his superiors. After retirement he worked 17 years in security for the Bradley Home in Meriden. He reminisced often about his surprise when he was awarded the honor of Employee of the Year at a large staff gathering. He was a member of the Southington Elks Lodge 1669, the Southington Bell City Rifle Club and the VFW Post #10052 in Cheshire.

Ranny met Eleanor on a blind date while on leave in 1944. They wed in 1948 and enjoyed over 71 years of marriage. Their dedication to each other was an inspiration. They were true soul mates and an example of everlasting unconditional love. Ran built their first home in Harwinton with the help of his father in law, Theodore Hartman (Pop) a man for which he had great admiration. They thought they could not have children, but in 1959 what they thought was a touch of the flu was a miracle pregnancy, a son. They were blessed again 4 years later with a daughter.

His cherished son, Theodore “Ted” Schmidt and his wife Andrea reside in Clinton. His beloved daughter, Helen “Lyn” Schmidt-Heberger and her husband Douglas reside in Meriden. Ran and Doug had a special relationship for over 30 years. Doug has been of immeasurable help to Ran and the family through this difficult time.  Ran treasured his two grandson’s Zachary “Zach” Schmidt and Jacob “Jake” Schmidt. He had many nieces, nephews and friends. Some visited him often; particularly Daryl Hartman who brought delicious meals and Paul Thompson who brought the church bulletin after Ran could no longer attend Mass. Ran was a devout Catholic, a member of St. Thomas Church and had been an usher for years.

Ran lived a full life.  He never expected to live to almost 94 and was grateful for each day.  His mind was sharp and his recollection of memories amazing. He shared heartwarming stories from throughout his life regularly. He often reflected on playing the upright bass in a Hawaiian band, “Smitty and the Islanders” with his brother Henry in the early days. Ran was a compassionate listener and a thoughtful advisor.  If you had a problem or concern, Ran would help you through. Eleanor revered this as one of his most enduring qualities. Ran was even-tempered, caring, kind, compassionate, respectful, loving and especially humble.  He had suffered with some health issues in his later years, particularly neuropathy, which caused him considerable pain. Ran endured quietly and valiantly through these struggles.

Ran was welcomed home by his loving parents and brothers; Wilbur, Arthur, Robert and Henry Schmidt and his nephew Randy Schmidt. Ran had a special relationship with his youngest brother Bob, with whom he had little contact for over 45 years, reunited in California in the early 90’s for a life changing visit, they exchanged letters for the next 25 years. The family is grateful for the compassionate help and council of the Franciscan Sisters and Hospice Nurses.

The Celebration of Randel’s Life will begin on Monday, Aug. 19th at 11:30 am with a calling hour until 12:30 pm at the DellaVecchia Funeral Home, 211 N. Main St., Southington.  Mass will follow at St. Thomas Church, 99 Bristol St., Southington at 1 pm. Randel will be placed in the solitude and protection of God’s Earth with military honors at St. Thomas Cemetery after Mass. May he rest in peace. Visit www.dellavecchiafh.com for online tributes and directions.

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