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In Memoriam – Robert “Bob” Schmitz ’72

Robert “Bob” Schmitz ’72

Robert J. Schmitz, age 67, of Roseville, passed away peacefully, surrounded by family, on June 22, 2021.

Robert is preceded in death by parents, Joseph and Delores Schmitz.

He is survived by children, Paul (Mainong Yang) Schmitz, David Schmitz, and Julia (Joe) Heaney; Mary Ryan; siblings, John Schmitz, James (Diane) Schmitz, and Ann (Jeff) Herickhoff; along with nieces and nephews, Dan and Mike Schmitz, Clare and Abby Herickhoff, and Joe and Mya Schmitz.

Bob grew up on the east side of St. Paul, MN near St. Pascal’s church where he attended school. His family was Catholic and Bob served as an altar boy at Mass. For high school, Bob started out at Nazareth Hall Prep School and went on to St.John’s near St. Cloud, where he played basketball and graduated with honors. During high school Bob discovered a lifelong passion for playing music when he bought his first Martin guitar and began taking lessons. After high school Bob attended the University of Minnesota Minneapolis campus where he studied psychology. After college he attended William Mitchell Law school at night while working during the day. Eventually he secured a job clerking for a judge through the Hennepin County Court. After getting married to Mary Ryan he took a job at the firm of Dickel, Johansson, Wall, Taylor and Rust in Crookston. Working everything from estates to divorces to court appointed defense work he soon became a partner in the firm. After seven years in Crookston and the birth of his first child, Paul, Bob and Mary moved home to the Twin Cities. Bob specialized in insurance law while his family with Mary continued to grow. He had another son, David, and a daughter, Julia. Then he took a job with the personal injury law firm of Schwebel, Goetz and Seiben where he was recognized by his peers in Super Lawyer Magazine for his achievements in practicing law.

Bob continued to enjoy playing guitar throughout his life. He was a voracious reader and a cyclist who enjoyed long distance rides on trails around the Twin Cities. Family vacations always involved the outdoors and exploring different parts of the country. He enjoyed playing computer games with his family and was always up on the latest technology, often imposing new devices on those perfectly happy with the model they already had. Bob loved the performing arts and he and Mary held season tickets to the Guthrie and Orchestra Hall. He also loved experiencing new restaurants and trying new food.

Bob was a generous, kind man and an optimist who focused on the positives of the people around him. He always tried to see the point of view of others and strengthen his relationships. Bob attended Pilgrim House Unitarian Universalist Fellowship for many years and enjoyed dining with and conversing with the members of that congregation. It was important to Bob to create traditions that brought extended family together for holidays. He had a special fondness for the Fourth of July and all the fireworks that came with it. Every Thursday afternoon for the last few years it was known at the office not to schedule any appointments for Bob because he would visit his Aunt Dorothy at the nursing home. Bob’s family was paramount to him and he worked hard to support them financially and emotionally as his children grew and formed lives and families of their own. As adults his children loved to consult Bob on any given topic as Bob was a fountain of knowledge on a wild variety of subjects. As a father, a brother, a leader, and a man of dignity, kindness, and generosity, he will be eminently missed and his memories will be dearly cherished. His family, like so many others who knew him, are eternally grateful for the life of Robert Schmitz.

A Visitation will be held from 4:00PM-8:00PM, on Thursday, July 1st, at Bradshaw Celebration of Life Center, 4600 Greenhaven Drive, White Bear Lake, MN 55127.

A Memorial Service for Robert will be held at 10:30AM, on Friday, July 2nd, at Bradshaw Celebration of Life Center, 4600 Greenhaven Drive, White Bear Lake, MN 55127. Luncheon to follow.