HOMER SCHMID 1924-2015

“Another member of the Greatest Generation drops out of formation...” -Brad Fisher (My cousin)

Dad passed into eternity in the early hours of Feb. 4, 2015. He was 90 years old and relatively healthy until December. He lived by himself until last summer when he took in a boarder who needed a place to rent, but also who helped Dad fill the lonely hours. He suffered a hard stroke in December, rallied for a while, but then started to fail in February. The professionals and family called in Hospice, who made him comfortable in his last days and hours.

He grew up on a farm(s) in Wayne County. He was two years old when his dad died. Grandma later married the hired hand, John Becker, and that's who we called granddaddy. Dad always referred to his parents as "Mom & John." I figured when a person gets older he calls his dad by his first name (?). I was named after Granddaddy John Becker.

Those of you who knew my Dad may have figured out that he wasn't perfect, but I sure didn't know it until I was around ten years old. He was my hero. Gradually, I began to see a few chinks in his armor, but he was a good dad, a good provider, a good husband and a friend to all (with maybe one or two exceptions).

I don't think I really understood how much he loved us (he never said the words) until I got involved in prison ministry and heard, over and over, the heart breaking, tragic stories of abandonment, neglect and abuse by the "fathers" of the average prisoner. I realized that Dad, as imperfect as he may have been, only wanted the best for us three boys. I began to understand that his strict discipline (well- I thought it was strict) was not because he was mean, but it was for our good. His belt (the fastest belt in the east!) was one of reasons that I am singing and preaching in front of prisoners in the prison chapel, rather than sitting in the audience with them.

He grew up working on the family farm in the Shreve area. His graduation trip was to the Philippines on the USS Inch with The US Navy. He married Mom in 1945 just before he was discharged and they were together until death they did part, 65 years later (2011). We three boys grew up in the Moreland community and then Mom & Dad moved to Wooster. Dad was a businessman, having started several businesses: Schmid & Miller Plumbing & Heating; Homer Schmid Plumbing; Gumm & Schmid; Hofacker Drilling; The Battery House... (I'm sure I missed one).

He was not a church goer, but at age 88 our friend, Jerry Durham, visited him and asked two simple questions: "Homer, do you know where you're going when you die?" and "Would you like to know?" Dad said, No, he didn't know and, yes, he would like to know. Jerry then led him in the "Sinner's prayer," a prayer of commitment. He was in the beginnings of dementia, but he knew what he wanted and what he didn't want (ask the caretaker who came in daily), so we have that blessed hope that Dad knew what he was praying and is with Mom (and Jesus) right now.

I think it's ironic that the great reformer, Martin Luther, had trouble praying the Lord' Prayer because it begins, "Our Father..." His father was was so harsh and strict that He felt God must be the same, but when I say the word, "Father," I think of a person who only wants the best for me.

Thanks, Dad, for an idyllic upbringing. We were (are) blessed. See you soon.

Common Ground Ministries

John was singing in a country western band at the time of his conversion in 1972. God changed his desire for stardom in Nashville to minitstry.

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