Curtis John Schmidt, age 86, passed away peacefully on Monday, July 3. He was born August 30, 1936, in Brooklyn, New York to Charles and Catherine Schmidt. He was a 1954 graduate of Richmond Hill High School. At the age of 17, Curt joined the United States Navy. As an air crewman, he flew in sea planes, PM3’s and worked with blimps. He became a Warrant Officer and eventually was promoted to Full Lieutenant. Curt served three tours in Vietnam as a Weapons Officer on the USS Constellation. He spent the majority of his naval career in California, however he was also stationed in Bermuda and retired from the USS Forrestal in October 1974.
Upon retirement from the U.S. Navy, Curt worked at Sentara Norfolk General where he met the love of his life, Diane. Curt was then promoted to Director of Security, Safety and Risk Management at Sentara Leigh Memorial. Diane and Curt were married June 26, 1981 in Virginia Beach and spent the next 42 years together. They traveled the country and loved to spend time in Williamsburg. You would see them every Thursday night at Hardee’s with their friends dancing away.
Curt was an avid gardener who spent the majority of his summers outdoors. He also enjoyed going to the Outer Banks twice a year and there wasn’t a John Wayne movie he had not seen. Curt loved to cook and spend time with neighbors and friends.
Upon retirement from Sentara Leigh Memorial, Curt volunteered for 25 years at Norfolk Botanical Gardens in the maintenance department. He also enjoyed cooking in the Bayside Baptist Church kitchen and was a volunteer at the Chrysler Museum, Department of Historic Houses.
Curt is survived by his wife of 42 years, Diane, her daughter, Jeanne Horton (Keith), and two grandchildren, Tyler and Casey. He is also survived by his sister, Katheen Racaniello, niece Cindy McCaffrey (Donald), nephew Will Racaniello (Diane) and three great nephews.
Funeral services will be held Wednesday, July 12, at 2 p.m. at Bayside Baptist Church, 1920 Pleasure House Road.
In lieu of flowers, friends may make memorial contributions to the Wounded Warrior Project at support.woundedwarriorproject.org or mail to Wounded Warrior Project, P.O. Box 758516, Topeka, Kansas, 66675-8516 or a charity of your choice.