MISSOULA — Allen Schmidt, 83, of Missoula, passed away on Thursday, Oct. 31, 2019 at the Village Sr. Residence where his sister, Bertha, still lives.
Allen was born in Grant County, North Dakota, the youngest of three to Herman and Mary Schmidt on Jan. 9, 1936. He attended first–eighth grade in a one-room schoolhouse in Morristown, South Dakota, and high school in McIntosh where he was one of just 15 graduates. He was a three-sport athlete — football, basketball and track, played trombone, and was voted best dancer of his class in 1955. He grew up tinkering in the shop and farming, learning skills that served him well on the farm and establishing habits that stayed with him always.
Allen served three years in the Air Force as an airborne radio repairman, traveling to such places as Japan, Turkey, and Iceland before making his way to Missoula, moving in with his sister, Ethel (Orville) Woodford. He was set up on a blind date with Doris Jean Tucker and the rest was history. They wed May 29, 1962, and raised their three children — Debbie Hendricks, Carl and Bill Schmidt — in their home of 57 years, filled with love and laughter.
Allen spent his career in the automotive industry, which concluded at Bitterroot Motors. He retired in 2001 as the last original employee.
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Allen gave freely of his time to be with friends and family. He enjoyed fishing and hunting, and even backpacked and hiked with Carl a time or two. He and Jean bowled, played cards, and puzzled galore. Allen was an avid Griz and Lady Griz fan. He was a Mason, managed a Little League team, and served many years as DeMolay Dad for Melita Chapter. He was a model of responsibility, dependability and kindness.
In retirement, Allen and Jean could be found at Fairmont Hot Springs or playing the penny slots in Vegas, where they found all the best buffets. His puttering in the yard and garden meant friends and neighbors never ran out of tomatoes — and his grandchildren jumped at the chance to help. Lovingly known as the “ice cream man” by his nine grandchildren and four great-grandchildren, he was always ready with an extra scoop and assorted sprinkles. Allen was a devoted grandfather and happily cheered them on at many events.
Allen may very well have been the most content man that has ever been. He has been very loved and will be dearly missed. Please join his family at the Orchard Homes Country Life Club on Sunday, Nov. 3 at 2 p.m. for a celebration of his life and to share stories. Reception to follow. Cremation has taken place and internment will be at the Veterans’ Cemetery at a later date.