In Memory

Raymond Schmidt (Pulp Mill Shift Supervisor) - Class of 1986 VIEW PROFILE

Raymond Schmidt (Pulp Mill Shift Supervisor)



Ray Schmidt  


MISSOULA – Ray Schmidt, born September 12, 1928, passed away at home, Sunday, May 17, 2015, at the age of 86 after losing his battle with cancer.

Ray was born in Great Falls to Joseph and Opal Schmidt, the third of four children.  During his childhood his family moved to Wolf Point where many adventures were encountered living in that area.  In the late 1930s, Ray and his family moved to Lewiston, Idaho.  Ray enjoyed living in the Lewiston Orchards where he was proud of the crops that they raised and especially hitching up the draft horses that no one else could control.

After completing his education in Lewiston, Ray joined the U.S. Navy in 1945.  He proudly served as a fireman on multiple vessels, spending time in the South China Sea, Tokyo, and multiple ports. His final discharge was on his birthday on September 12, 1949.

In 1952, Ray met and married the love of his life, Vera May Gaines in Lewiston.  Together they had two children.  Ray had several jobs and business venture’s before starting his livelong career in the pulp and paper mill industries working for Potlatch Corp.

In September 1957, Ray transferred to a new job and moved his family to Missoula to help start-up the new Waldorf-Hoerner Pulp and Paper Plant.

His new job entailed, running the first batch of pulp through the new mill at Frenchtown.  Ray (Smitty) advanced to the position of shift supervisor during his tenure with many different company’s/owners of the Frenchtown Mill.  Ray completed his last shift for Champion International Paper Company and retired in January 1986.

Ray and Vera enjoyed their retirement and the new home they had built in Seeley Lake, along with their "Snow Bird" time in Yuma, Arizona.

Ray enjoyed snowmobiling, fishing, camping, making sure that he had more than enough firewood to keep him and Vera warm on the cold winter nights in Seeley Lake.  He especially enjoyed spending time with family and friends.

Ray was preceded in death by his parents; brothers, Teddy and Vernon; daughter by previous marriage Terry Dennington and granddaughter Jennifer Auerbach.

Ray is survived by his loving wife, Vera May Schmidt at the family home; sister Jolonda Munson (Doug) of Squim, Washington; his son Daniel Schmidt (Lauri) of Missoula; daugther Cindy Sanguins (Ron) of Frenchtown.  Five grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren have brought him the adoration of being the 1-2-3 Grampa.

A funeral service was held at Sunset Memorial Funeral Home on Tuesday, May 26, 2015 and followed by a reception.

In lieu of flowers the family requests, memorial donations be made to the American Cancer Society. Condolences for Ray’s family may be left at

Rest in Peace dear Friend.

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