Harry James Schmidt was born on July 14, 1940, at home on the family farm. He was the last child of 4, born to Philip and Regina (nee Kotzer) Schmidt.
On August 11, 1940, he received the gift of Holy Baptism and became a child of God at Immanuel Lutheran church, Landestreu, Sask.
He grew up on the family farm and took his schooling at Dressler school just a few miles cross country from the farm. When he was old enough, he rode his horse to school or took the horse and cutter picking up other kids along the way. He attended Dressler school till grade 8 then took his grade 9 in Langenburg.
He was confirmed on April 10, 1955, at Christ Lutheran church Langenburg. His confirmation verse was Luke 11:28 “Blessed are they that hear the word of God and keep it.”
For the remaining 3 years of high school he attended Concordia College in Edmonton, where his parents intended on him furthering his education to become a minister. Harry, however, didn’t share that intention and returned home after grade 12 graduation to become a farmer. He took odd jobs working for other farmers in the area and continued playing hockey and ball the sports he exceled at during his time at Concordia. In his final year there he wore the C for the Concordia Clippers hockey team and was named player coach!
In 1963 he met the love of his life, Diane, and they married on October 9, 1964. Their first home was the Schmidt family farm where they operated a dairy and grain farm for many years. Their marriage was blessed with 3 children, a son James in 1966, a daughter Susan in 1968, and a son Reuben in 1970.
Harry spent many hours farming the land, milking his Holsteins and driving his horses. He built a dairy barn and a new house with the help of his father, brother Charlie, numerous neighbors and of course us kids. We were always outside with our dad pounding nails, stacking bales, milking cows and driving tractor. I still recall being very little and being placed in the manger in the old barn while mom and dad milked the cows. All our childhood lives, we 3 kids always helped with morning and evening chores, never allowed to play until our chores were done. But as soon as the chores were done play time started! We spent many hours riding with our dad, checking fences, chasing cows and just trail riding thru the fields and ditches, that was our play time.
Dad continued his hockey and ball career along with running the farm. He was sought after by many local teams. He played senior hockey in Langenburg, Spy Hill and MacNutt. He also coached his sons’ ball and hockey teams.
He was also a dedicated 4H leader for the Double Horseshoe 4H club which all 3 of his kids belonged to. He passed on his horsemanship skills to many other kids and took a few pennies playing Sheep’s head over the years from other parents after the kids 4H meetings were over. During his 4H years he volunteered to give sleighrides at the farm as a way of raising money for the club. He always used horses for chores and barely ever started a tractor in the wintertime.
During the height of sleighride season he would have up to 3 teams on the go and this is where his kids mastered the art of being teamsters as well. The sleighride fame spread fast and grew into a more than, 20-year career of giving sleighrides at Santa Claus day in Churchbridge and touring many groups around the various towns caroling at Christmas, jingle bells ringing!
He sold the Dairy in 1986 and ventured into beef cattle and wild boar with his son James. With the sale of the dairy and a son who wanted to farm as well, it gave dad more time to follow his passion of driving horses and giving rides. He made many miles touring the streets of Bredenbury during the Christmas season taking 100’s maybe even 1000’s of people on the Christmas lite tour.
He purchased his first leather sewing machine in 1983 which also led to a busy career of not only fixing harness but making complete sets of new harness out of leather and nylon webbing. He tackled many challenges in his leather shop braiding a beautiful bridle out of leather that Susan used for many years showing her horse.
On July 1, 2005, dad and mom moved into Langenburg taking his sewing machines with him. He kept himself very busy with his leather repair and driving to the farm to help, yet somehow found the time to take up woodworking along with golfing during the day and playing cards many nights with friends and neighbors.
When mom passed away in 2012, dad just wasn’t the same after. He kept busy but things had changed. He entered the Langenburg Care Home in September of 2018 where he resided until his passing on Sept 18, 2021, with all 3 of his children at his bedside.
He leaves to mourn his passing his children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren, son, James and wife Stana (children Justin, Travis and Shelby, step daughter Kalista (Mitchelle) grandson Michael, daughter, Susan and partner Mavis, and son Reuben and his wife Leilani (children – Tyson(Kerri) children Sara, Brodi and Jackson) and Wylie).
He is also survived by his brother-in-law Norman Felske, and two sister-in-laws’, Judith Holod, and Linda (Allan) Egilsson, and numerous nieces and nephews.
Harry was pre-deceased by his wife Diane (2012), his father and mother Philip and Regina (1985), sister Dorothy Felske(2004) and two brothers Walter and Charlie (2021), sister-in-laws’ Alice and Elrose Schmidt and brother-in-laws Robert Baumung and Don Holod. Harry was the last of his siblings to pass, all 3 boys passed away within the last 4 months.
A special Thank-you to all the staff at the Langenburg Care Home for the care they gave to our dad while he was there. Thanks for keeping him smiling as long as you did!
A very special Thank you to Nick Schmidt for giving Uncle Harry his final wagon ride!
Happy trails dad from all who rode in your wagon!
To send flowers to Harry's family, please visit our floral store.
Lutheran Hour Ministries
270 Lawrence Avenue, Kitchener ON N2M 1Y4
Centennial Special Care Home, Langenburg - Back Yard Project
P.O. Box 370, Langenburg SK S0A 2A0
MacNutt Raise the Roof Project
MacNutt SK S0A 2K0