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Mildred Elin Schmidt

December 5, 1915 March 30, 2018
Mildred Elin Schmidt
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Obituary for Mildred Elin Schmidt

Mildred Elin Schmidt
December 5, 1915 to March 30, 2018
Mildred was born 102 years ago on December 5, 1915 in Schenectady, New York. Her father, Henry Schmidt, had emigrated from Germany. He worked for General Electric. Her mother, Elin Olsson, emigrated from Sweden. Mildred was two years older than her only sibling, Walter (father of niece Carol and who passed in 2004). As a teenager, she attended summer camp and eventually became a camp counselor.
When Mildred was 11 her family moved to Syracuse, N.Y. when her father changed jobs. Mildred lived there until she graduated from Syracuse University in 1937 with a major in math and statistics. Her family then moved to Brooklyn, New York.
Her first choice for a job was to be a high school math teacher. She applied to many places and was told that while she was well qualified to teach math she was not qualified to take on the other duties of the math teacher, coaching football. So she looked for other jobs. Her first job was as a statistical typist where she became known for her accuracy.
While living in Brooklyn, she got a job with NBC in Manhattan where she did statistical analysis and also made several life-long friends. She was still living at home. She worked for NBC for 15 years. Her next job was with the advertising firm of BBD&O in Manhattan, again doing statistical research and analysis. She worked for them for 10 years. She was the first person to program their new main-frame computer. Many of her programs continued in use years after she left. After that she had several jobs that lasted about five years each, always working with computers.
In 1963, after her parents died, she moved into her own apartment on the upper Eastside of Manhattan. Her apartment became rent controlled in the 1970s. She lived there until she moved to Merrill Gardens (now Mountlake Terrace Plaza) in April of 2014. Her home in Manhattan was her jumping off place for the extensive traveling that she did to Sweden and Germany to visit relatives. She also went on many group trips with AARP after she retired. She took her last trip when she was in her early 90s.
Mildred’s passion was reading. She read the New Yorker magazine and the New York Times faithfully for over 75 years. She always had at least one book going. She did crossword puzzles regularly until about five years ago. She could master the New York Times puzzle in no time. She swam several times a week into her early 90s. She also took up Tai Chi at her church in her early 90s and practiced it until the church discontinued the classes.
Finally, after gentle but persistent nudging from her family, she agreed to relocate to WA state to be near her family, who are delighted that she finally consented to relocate. We are very glad to have her close by.
At the first of March 2018, she fell and fractured a vertebra in her upper back requiring surgery. While recovering in a rehabilitation center her system became infected, which progressed to the point of requiring hospitalization. Mildred passed away peacefully on March 30, 2018 (Good Friday) at the age of 102.
Mildred was a pioneer throughout her life and in death her nieces and nephew decided to send her off in a similar style by selecting a green and eco-friendly coffin made of grass wicker. Accompanying her on her journey was the New York Times dated March 30th, a copy of the New Yorker and the last book she was reading. She was cremated and her ashes will rest with those of her brother and sister-in-law in a private location in the Midwest.
Mildred was an amazing person who was loved and adored by all who knew her and will be greatly missed. With her death, we celebrate her life.


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