March 1, 2010
Born on February 26, 1913 to the late Mary Blakelock and Henry Martin Vedder, Ruth was the granddaughter of renowned artist Ralph Albert Blakelock and Jessie Van Vechten Vedder, who was the first Greene County Historian, founder of the Bronck House Library, and one of the orginal founding members of On-Ti-Ora Chapter National Society Daughters of the American Revolution.
Ruth attended the Leeds Grammar School until 1925 and graduated from the Catskill High School in 1929. As a teenager, she worked at an ice cream parlor in Leeds and saved enough money to buy a Plymouth convertible in 1932 at age 19, which she used to commute to the Moran Business School and work at an insurance agency in Kingston.
On September 21, 1935 she married George Ernst Schmidt. They had two sons, G. Lawrence Schmidt and Mark Vedder Schmidt. Mark was a Warrant Officer in the US Army serving as a helicopter pilot during Vietnam and was killed in action on December 27, 1967 in Cu Chi, and thus she became an honored "Gold Star Mother". From 1963 to 1978, she served as Catskill Village Clerk, Tax Collector, and Treasurer.
She was listed in the following publications: Who's Who of American Women 1975-76 edition, Notable Americans of the Bicentennial Era in 1976, The Hereditary Register of USA in 1975, and 500 First Families of America in 1978-79.
Ruth was past president and treasurer of the Town & Country Business & Professional Women (who honored her as 1996 Woman of the Year); past treasurer of the Capital District Mineral Club; past treasurer of the Ladies' Auxiliary of the Leeds Hose Co.; past president and treasurer of the Young Women's Club of the Leeds Dutch Reformed Church; past treasurer of the Hudson Christian Women's Club; Assistant State Treasurer, past State Treasurer, past Chairman of State Auditing and State Finance Committees of the NYS Organization NSDAR; past Regent, past Treasurer, and past Chairman of American History Month Committee of the On-Ti-Ora Chapter NSDAR; past Matron and Chaplain of the Order of the Eastern Star Chapter #293; past Secretary of the Past Matron's Club; past Elder and Vice-President of the Consistory of the Leeds Dutch Reformed Church; past alto member of the Leeds Dutch Reformed Church Choir; past Treasurer of the DAR NYS Officers Club; member of the DAR Ex-Regents Assn. of NYS; member of the NYS Chairman-Vice-Chairman Organization NSDAR; member of the Greene County Historical Society; past District caller for the Catskill Women's Republican Club; past Chairman of Retired & Senior Volunteer Program Advisory Council; past Chaplain, past executive member, past chair of the Nominating & Auditing Committees of the Greene County Volunteer Firemen and Ladies' Auxiliary; past member of the Golden Age Bowling Club, The Busy Bees, and Stonecroft Bible Coffees.
In her leisure time, Ruth was a member of the Over 70 Ski Club and was proud to have been able to travel to all 50 states and 18 foreign countries including Egypt, Israel, China, Guatemala, and Australia. Experiences all well documented in her diaries and on her computer.
She is survived by her son Lt. Col. (Ret.) G. Lawrence Schmidt and daughter-in-law Carolyn Schmidt of Houston, TX; three granddaughters: Lisabeth Robertson (her husband Ron and their sons: Bobby and Jonathan), Lana Koerber (her husband Scott and their daughters: Olivia, Alexis and Alyssa), and Lori Lieder (her husband Richard and their sons: Christopher and Alexander), all of Texas; two cousins: Douglas Blakelock of Unadilla, NY and Edward Parks of Florida; niece Lois Vedder and great-niece Jessica Dee Schneider both of Leeds. She was predeceased by her son CWO Mark V. Schmidt on December 27, 1967, her husband George Schmidt on March 18, 1981, and sister Dorothy Scanlon on December 5, 2007.
Funeral services will be held on Monday, March 8, 2010 at 11 a.m. in the Millspaugh Camerato Funeral Home at 139 Jefferson Heights in Catskill. Interment will follow in the Town of Catskill Cemetery. Friends and relatives are invited to call at the funeral home on Sunday from 2-4 to 7-9 p.m. As per her wishes, there will be no formal fraternal services. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Greene Country Historical Society in care of Thomas Satterlee, Financial Secretary at 164 High Hill Road, Catskill, NY 12414. Electronic condolences may be posted at www.millspaughcamerato as well as a more extensive obituary.
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