Gerald Andrew Schmidt, 78, of Solen, went to his heavenly home on September 13, 2023, at CHI St. Alexius Medical Center, Bismarck, surrounded by his loving family after a tragic accident at his home.
Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 9 AM on Saturday September 16, 2023, at St. Joseph Catholic Church Mandan with Rev. Josh Waltz celebrating. Burial will be at Mandan Union Cemetery with full military honors.
Visitation will be held from 5-8 PM on Friday, September 15, 2023, at Weigel Funeral Home, Mandan, with a Rosary/Parish Vigil 7 PM. Visitation will continue one hour prior to the service at the church on Saturday.
Gerald was born on his grandparent’s farm west of the Junction Inn on January 21, 1945, to Gabriel and Ottilia (Fleck) Schmidt. He was raised on the family farm southwest of St. Anthony and attended schools in Fallon, Copenhagen, and Mandan, graduating from Mandan High School in 1963. He served 6 years in the North Dakota National Guard at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri from 1967-1973. On May 11, 1973, he married Laurie Lou Vangsness in Bismarck.
Gerald was a social butterfly and enjoyed visiting with his family and friends, squealing the tires on his car, going sheep shearing with his Uncle Rocky (Joe Fleck), repairing both his Chevy vehicles and beloved John Deere farm equipment. Dad was especially close to his Uncle Frank Fleck who passed away when Gerald was 10 years old. He loved living on his farm and enjoyed spending time outside on his atv checking his cattle and crops. He was a past director of the Flasher rural fire department and a member of the St. Peter and Paul Verein in Fallon.
He was a jack of all trades, easy-going, good-hearted person which included always making sure that his family came first and he was there to help when needed. Being a Grandpa put a smile on his face and he loved his grandkids to the moon and back, always making sure they knew how much he cared about each one of them. When in the kitchen his specialty was mashed potatoes- no lumps included and sloppy joes, which he perfected.
Blessed and grateful to have shared in his life is his wife of 50 years, Laurie Schmidt, Solen; his five children, Jana, Jared, Jon, Joy (Dustin), and Jodi; seven grandchildren, Aidan, Anna, Avery, Autumn, Eli, Garrett, and Elden; sister, Cynthia (Ken) Haff; aunt and uncle, Joe and Janice Fleck; aunts, Darlene and Kay Fleck; brother and sister-in-law, Darwin and Alice Vangsness; and numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins.
Gerald was preceded in death by his parents; sister, Linda (Schmidt) Zearley; brother-in-law, Curtis Zearley; in-laws, Rudolph and Anna (Hauge) Vangsness; sisters-in-law, Audrey Lafferty, Jean Lammers, Elizabeth (Babe) Anderson, and Sharon Erickson; and brothers-in-law, Dean Lafferty and Phillip Erickson; and numerous aunts and uncles from both the Fleck and Schmidt families.
The family would like to thank the ICU staff at CHI St. Alexius Medical Center for the compassionate and excellent care that was provided.