Margaret Schmidt died at her home in Newcastle, Oklahoma, on the evening of Monday, November 21, 2022, at the age of 94, with her family around her. The Mass of Christian Burial for Margaret will be held on Monday, November 28, at 10:30 a.m. at St. Joseph Catholic Church, 211 Porter Avenue, Norman, where she and her husband, Willard, and family had been parishioners since 1951. Visitation on Sunday, November 27, 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. and rosary and vigil prayer service from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. will be held at Havenbrook Funeral Home, 3401 Havenbrook Street, Norman. Following her funeral, she will be laid to rest beside her husband in Calvary Cemetery, Elk City, with burial rites scheduled for 3:30 p.m.
Margaret was born on a farm outside Elk City, Oklahoma, on February 1, 1928, to Aloysius “Allie” and Flora (Walker) Schachle. Her paternal grandparents, Stephan and Katherine (Klein) Schachle were immigrants from Liechtenstein and Germany who settled first in Kentucky and Ohio in 1882 before moving to Oklahoma in 1909. Her maternal grandparents, William and Dorothy (Rogers) Walker trace their ancestral roots back to the 1700s in Virginia. She was one of five children and attended Merritt Public Schools just outside Elk City, where she excelled both as a student and athlete, receiving conference and state recognition as a superb basketball player. After graduating from high school, Margaret attended Ursuline College in Paola, Kansas, where she earned an associate’s degree in Medical Records, training she used as Medical Librarian at Elk City Community Hospital.
In the summer of 1948, she drove her parents and younger sister, Beth, across country to visit her brother, George, who was playing minor league baseball in the St. Louis Cardinals system in Ontario, Canada. His roommate was a handsome young pitcher from Hays, Kansas. Willard and Margaret were married on January 14, 1950, in Elk City and were together for 57 years before Willard passed away in 2007. As a young wife and mother married to a professional baseball player, Margaret traveled throughout the country and to Cuba and Puerto Rico, which she described as pretty exciting for “just a farm girl from western Oklahoma.”
In 1951, Margaret and Willard moved to Norman, Oklahoma, to raise their children in a college town. They joined St. Joseph Catholic Church where she was active in Women’s Club, Altar Society, St. Monica’s Guild, RCIA (adult religious instruction in the Catholic faith), and Golden Agers. For decades she baked her famous pies for St. Joseph’s Thanksgiving community dinners. In 1991, Margaret and Willard moved to a small farm in Newcastle, Oklahoma where they could have horses, big gardens, lots of dogs and host big family events and barn parties for family, friends and neighbors. She loved to read and read history, fiction, art books, spiritual works and biography right up to the last days of her life. She was always open to new technology. Her children remember that some of the first e-mails they received were from her and their dad, who were among the first users of the Internet at Newcastle Library in the early 1990s, and Margaret never stopped using her computer to keep in close touch with family and friends. Her favorite thing in life was to spend time with her children and grandchildren. Throughout her long life she was beautiful in appearance and in spirit, and her strength never wavered.
Margaret Schmidt had friendships that lasted a lifetime. She fiercely loved our family, who will remember her strength and steady guidance, her wit and gentle voice. and her devotion to our dad.
She was preceded in death by her husband, parents and three brothers, Bill, Jack and George. She is survived by her daughter, Layne Evans and her husband, Deane, Norwalk, Connecticut; son Paul Schmidt and his wife, Sheryl, and their daughter, Katy, Norman; daughter Lisa Schmidt, Norman; son Kent Schmidt, his wife Lisa and their two children, Sarah Schmidt (Tom Goheen), Austin, Texas, and Zachary Schmidt, Norman; daughter Meg Schmidt, Norman; daughter Madeline Schmidt, Oklahoma City; sister, Beth (Harry) Hufnagel, Okarche, Oklahoma; sister-in-law, Nancy (George) Schachle, of Lexington, Virginia, and many beloved nieces, nephews, and cousins.
Those who wish to make a memorial donation in Margaret’s name are invited to contribute to the Society of St. Vincent de Paul at St. Joseph Catholic Church, or Blaze’s Equine Rescue in Harrah, Oklahoma, or their local military veterans groups.