Delta County resident, Betty Jo Schmidt, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, June 25, 2014, at the Paonia Care and Rehab Center. She was 92.
A celebration of life service will be held at 2 p.m., Wednesday, July 2, at the Taylor Funeral Service Chapel in Cedaredge. Inurnment will take place at the Gypsum Cemetery at a later date.
Elizabeth Josephine Knight was born on Dec. 9, 1921, in Taswell, Ind. Her father wanted her to have the name of two queens. But, they never called her by either of her “queenly” names; instead, they called her Betty Jo.
Her father, Thomas Knight, taught her to “give a day’s work for a day’s pay,” and to take pride in her work. Her mother, Sophie Knight, taught her to “dream and to dare” — to have an imagination and the courage to use it.
Young Betty Jo also had a brother, named Don, and a sister named Perlita.
Betty Jo’s father was a miner, and the family moved several times: to Webb City, Mo.; Wolf Park, Colo.; Gilman; Madden Dam, in Panama; Cañon City; Cross Roads and Camdenton, Mo. She graduated from high school at Red Cliff, Colo. Betty Jo was a teenager during the Depression, but she said that the family was happy, despite the hard times, and they never felt poor. They worked at whatever jobs they could find, and followed their dreams. Betty Jo’s dream was to be a teacher and a writer.
Betty Jo’s mother was a teacher, and education was important to the family. Mom made sure that all three kids had a chance at college. Betty Jo went to Western State in Gunnison, and earned a teaching certificate. She taught at a country school and then started nurse’s training.
In 1941, Betty Jo met Glen Schmidt, a young farmer from Strasburg, who was in the Army with her brother, Don. Betty Jo later wrote that she liked Glen because he loved country living, looked handsome in his uniform, and was her brother’s best friend. The couple dated for about two years, when Glen could get leave from the Army. Glen finally proposed while they were together at the Denver Stock Show. Glen had decided that he would ask her to marry him if she petted the animals at the Stock Show … she did. He proposed; she accepted. Betty Jo sold her saddle horse to pay for the wedding gown, and they were married July 25, 1943, in Strasburg, Colo.
At first, the couple lived in Minturn, Colo., then Wenatchee, Wash. While they were in Washington, in 1945, their son, Jack, was born. After Glen was out of the service, they returned to Strasburg, where Glen worked with his father and brother, raising wheat, pinto beans and sheep. In 1948, their daughter, Kathy, was born. Betty Jo, and both of the children, were whole-heartedly involved in the farm work. The years flew by, filled with farmwork, 4-H, FFA, sports and music.
In 1963, the Schmidts moved to Gypsum, where they bought a cattle ranch. They were there until 1988. They were active in the community in many ways.
In 1988, they moved to Ava, Mo., and made many friends there.
In 1993, they retired to Grand Junction. Then in 1996 they moved to Cedaredge. Betty Jo cared deeply for her family and friends, and loved to give a helping hand. She loved corresponding with family and friends, and regularly wrote letters to loved ones.
Betty is survived by her son, Jack Schmidt of Cedaredge; four grandchildren; three great grandchildren; and eight nieces and nephews.
Betty was preceded in death by her daughter; her husband; and her brother and sister.
In lieu of flowers, please send donations to one of the following organizations: HopeWest, P.O. Box 24, Delta, CO 81416; or to American Stewards of Liberty, P.O. Box 1190, Taylor, TX 76574.
Arrangements are under the care and direction of Taylor Funeral Service and Crematory.
View the Internet obituary and sign the online guest registry at taylorfuneralservice.com.