Elizabeth “Bette” Mae Schmidt, age 95, of Winona, died Wednesday, April 2, 2014, at Lake Winona Manor, Winona, Minn. Bette was born October 28, 1918, in Winona, Minn., to Albert H. Rost and Emma D. (Spittler) Rost. She attended Winona Senior High School. On July 25, 1936, she married Carroll W. Schmidt and he preceded her in death on February 6, 1985.
For more than 25 years, Bette worked for Winona Public Schools as a library assistant, where she adored the children and encouraged a love of reading. It could be said that Bette’s greatest loves in life were her family and her faith. She was a leader, but mostly behind the scenes, always offering a helping hand and words of support to friends, family and her church. Actively involved in St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in various roles, ranging from director of Sunday school, to member of the church choir, to member of the Altar Guild, Bette was famous for her German Potato Salad and organizing church luncheons. Learning from her father at a young age to read a variety of newspapers and understand both sides of an argument, Bette was sharp and politically astute, a quality she encouraged in her children and grandchildren. She had great pride in her family and will be remembered as a fierce and loyal friend to all who knew her.
Bette is survived by three sons, Gary R. Schmidt, Winona, Owen J. (Joan) Schmidt, North Mankato, Minn., Ronald A. (Roberta) Schmidt, Minneapolis, Minn.; 10 grandchildren, James (Kim) Schmidt, Philip (Elaine) Schmidt, Catherine Schmidt, Helen (Tom) Bell, Greta Schmidt, Dana (Darran) Jonsgaard, David F. Hilton, Danielle Meier, Darren Hilton, and Michael Schmidt; 17 great-grandchildren, Hunter Koenigs, Andrew Schmidt, Benjamin Schmidt, Abigail Schmidt, Elizabeth Schmidt, Eva J. Elson, Daniel Bell, Owen Bell, Nathan (Ashley) Hilton, Nickole (Joe) Woxland, Nickolas Jonsgaard, Michael Hilton, Zachary Meier, Colin Meier, Daniel Meier, Ashleigh Bye, Blake Hilton; four great-great-grandchildren, Devon Hilton, Mya Mae Hilton, Levi Woxland, and Chase Hilton; cousins, Janet (Spittler) Ecker; nephews and nieces, Nino Cezar, Virel Schmidt, Karyn Schmidt, Russell Schmidt, J. George Schmidt, and Jim (Jeanie) Schmidt.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Albert H. Rost and Emma D. (Spittler) Rost; husband, Carroll W. Schmidt; children, Nancy (Schmidt) Hilton; brothers and sisters-in-law, John Schmidt, Kate Schmidt, Elmer Schmidt; daughter-in-law, M. Judith (Bambenek) Schmidt; grandchildren, Faith Marie Schmidt, and Jonathan Hilton; niece, Joan “Josie” (Linken) Kubicek.
Services to remember Bette will be 10:30 a.m., Tuesday, April 8, 2014, at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Winona, Minn., with Rev. Lawrence Green officiating. Interment will be at Woodlawn Cemetery, Winona, Minn.
Visitation will begin at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Winona, Minn.
Memorials may be directed to St. Paul’s Episcopal Church or M. Judith Schmidt WSU Memorial Scholarship Fund.
Words of sympathy or remembrance may be left at www.fawcett-junkerfuneralhome.com. Services entrusted to Fawcett-Junker Funeral Home and Cremation Service, Winona, Minn., and Fountain City, Wis.