Lola Fern Schmidt, 93, of North Newton, Kan., died Sept. 24, 2023. She was born Jan. 2, 1930, in Newton, to Leo and Sarah (Kliewer) Voth.
She grew up on a farm east of Newton and attended the one-room Star School, Bethel College Academy and Whitewater High School, graduating in 1948. She was baptized at Grace Hill Mennonite Church.
She attended Bethel College, where she met Gerald Schmidt (Curly/Gerry). They wed in 1952 after Lola’s graduation and in the early days of their marriage lived in Wichita, Denver and Hays before settling in Wichita. They raised three children, Greg, Barry and Andrea. Lola kept the household running, coordinated summer moves to Colorado and volunteered at church and the grade school.
In 1967 the family moved to the Chicago suburb of Oak Park. The location provided big-city museums and weekends at Camp Friedenswald in Michigan. Lola worked in the high school library, played doubles tennis with Gerry and participated in church activities at First Presbyterian and later at Lombard Mennonite church.
Lola and Gerry moved to the Denver area in 1980 and purchased the Stop Smoking Center. With a flexible work schedule, they began extensive international travel and attended many Elderhostel learning tours, in addition to day trips and hikes in the mountains.
In 1991 Gerry was diagnosed with ALS. As his health declined, Lola became his primary caregiver. He died in 1997.
Lola continued traveling and began volunteering at Ten Thousand Villages and enjoyed her book club and the coffee group at First Mennonite Church in Denver.
Lola moved to Kidron Bethel Village in North Newton in 2008. She enjoyed activities at Bethel College, volunteering at Et Cetera Shop and Shalom Mennonite Church, babysitting and trips to visit kids and grandkids and Kauffman Museum activities.
She is survived by children Greg (Jan) Schmidt of Berne, Ind., Barry (Gretchen) Schmidt of South Jordan, Utah, and Andrea (Mark) Andres of rural Newton; five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren; sister-in-law Ann Voth; and brother-in-law Clinton Schmidt.
In addition to her husband, she was preceded in death by a brother, Arlo.
Memorial gifts may be designated to Bethel College.