Arnold L. Smidt, 86, a lifelong resident of Stewartville,MN died peacefully on Tuesday, April 6th, from complications of a heart attack at Mayo Clinic Rochester - St. Mary’s Campus.
Arnold (Arnie) Lloyd Smidt was born the son of Clovis and Dorothy( Stevenson ) Smidt on January 11, 1935 in Stewartville, MN. He grew up on the family farm southeast of town and graduated from Stewartville High School in 1952. He and the love of his life, Jeannette L. Swanson were married on February 26, 1955 at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Stewartville. Arnie worked as a psychiatric technician at the Rochester State Hospital for 13 years after graduating from high school. He then began a long successful career in the HVAC business working in sales for the Girard Steel, Woodruff and finally, Rochester Supply Companies until retiring in 1998. For many years Arnie also worked as a part time bartender at the former Fish House Restaurant in Stewartville. He became quite famous for making those fancy and delicious ice cream Pink Squirrels, Golden Cadillacs, and Grasshoppers.
Arnie was a lifelong member of St. John’s Lutheran Church where he was head usher for many years and held many other church offices including being president of the congregation. He was a faithful man, loved his Lord, and he and his wife Jeannette saw that their children were raised to know and love the Lord as well. Arnie enjoyed bowling, golfing, fishing, shooting pool and made many “mostly successful” trips to the casino, as well. Arnie was a noted card shark in town. He particularly excelled at and loved playing the games of Bridge, 500 and Cribbage. After retirement, Arnie and Jeannette made the trek to Yuma, AZ together during the cold MN winter months for many years before she passed away on January 24, 2010. The couple loved the warm desert southwest and each annual trip down was an adventure for them. Arnie was grateful that he could resume being an AZ “snowbird” for a few years following Jeannette’s death as well.
Arnie was a great neighbor, a trustworthy friend, a cheerful, friendly, and honest person with a great smile. Most importantly he was a wonderful husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, brother, and uncle. He will be sorely missed by all who knew and loved him. The Smidt family would like to say special thanks to the Stewartville First Responders as well as to the Mayo Clinic Cardiac unit staff for their top-notch professional assistance and expertise during this medical crisis for Arnie.
He is survived by his six children, Becky (Buck) Fredricksen of Stewartville, David (Diane) Smidt of Stewartville, Marybeth (Norb) Hemann of Stacyville, IA , John Smidt of Nehelam, OR, Amy(Rob) Myhrvold of Stewartville and Mark(Christa) Smidt of Stewartville. He is also survived by his fourteen grandchildren: Matthew(Jessi) Smidt, Tricia(Tony) Knutson, Jacque(Josh)Karaus, Will(Amanda) Fredricksen, Hannah Hemann(Bryan Reiter), Michael(Shelby) Smidt, Laura(Josh) Bain, Michelle(Skyler) Hulshizer, Tyler Smidt, Kaylee Smidt(Carter Jannsen), Autumn Smidt, Connor Myhrvold, Nathan Smidt and Megan Myhrvold, nine great-grandchildren: Charlie Knutson, Penelope Smidt, Grayson Fredricksen, William Knutson, Quentin Smidt, Lucy Knutson, Caleb Fredricksen, Kaitlyn Smidt and Ellie Hulshizer and two great step-grandchildren: Wyatt Groth and Gavin Harrison.
Other family member survivors include his sisters: Shirley Luedke of Anchorage, AK, Kathy Crace of Peterson, MN and sister-in-law, Marsha Baird of Reseda, CA, and his brothers: Glenn Smidt of Babbitt, MN, Ken (Gail) Smidt of Racine, MN, Jerry Smidt of Austin, MN, and brother-in-law Dean Waibel of Phoenix, AZ. and many nieces and nephews Arnie was preceded in death by his wife, Jeannette, his parents, his sister-in-laws: Betty Smidt, Harriet Waibel and brother in-laws: Duane Luedke, Chuck Swanson, Bob Swanson, Mike Baird and Bob Crace.
A time of visitation for family and friends will take place Sunday afternoon, April 11, from 3 to 6:00 PM, at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Stewartville. Masks are mandatory and safe social distancing protocols will be in place. The private family funeral service will take place on Monday, April 12 at 11:00 A.M. at St. John’s Lutheran Church with Rev. Lyle Fritsch officiating. Burial will follow at Woodlawn Cemetery in Stewartville. Memorials can be made to the Stewartville Center for Active Adults, St. John’s Lutheran Church or to the donor’s choice. Arrangements are with Griffin-Gray F.H. in Stewartville. Condolences and memories of Arnie are welcome at www.griffin-gray.com A live stream of Arnie’s funeral service can be viewed by going to St. Johns Lutheran Church website at 10:45 A.M. on Monday(4/12) and clicking on the following link - Watch Online (stjohnsandweecare.org)
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