2010-12-30 / Obituaries

Eugene Schmidt Passes Away at 101

ERIc GROSS

Eugene Schmidt loved Putnam County. Schmidt passed away on Christmas Eve at the age of 101 after spending the past 84 years in a community he called home.

After emigrating from Germany in 1926, Schmidt married the love of his life—Margaret Thiele—who happened to have relocated to America from his hometown in Germany. Schmidt and his wife had two children, Marianne and Barbara.

In 1945, a friend informed Schmidt that a restaurant in Lake Carmel— the Happy Valley—was for sale. Schmidt took the plunge and purchased the popular restaurant, which he owned for 28 years.

During an interview last December, Schmidt recalled that his restaurant was a “family gathering place.”

After selling the business, Schmidt became employed at the former Harrald’s Restaurant in Stormville— known for its unique service and cuisine. At Harrald’s, Schmidt’s smoked trout became so famous that the New York Times featured the delicacy in one of its Sunday editions.

Schmidt was involved in the development of the Lake Carmel community. He was an active member of the Lake Carmel Fire Department for many years and was a founding member of the Lake Carmel-Kent Chamber of Commerce. Schmidt was also a member of the Putnam Kiwanis and served on the Kent Planning Board and Kent Board of Assessors.

On Sunday Putnam Legislator Richard Othmer, who represents constituents in Kent, recalled hearing much about Eugene Schmidt over the years: “He was an amazing man. His loss will be felt. The Town of Kent is a sad valley instead of a happy valley with his passing. God bless him.”

Schmidt called each day of his life an “adventure.” In his last interview, a little over a year ago while residing at the Plaza at Clover Lake in Patterson, Schmidt told this reporter: “I play in my garden whenever I can and love reading the COURIER.”

On Schmidt’s dresser that day was a copy of the latest edition: “I read the paper from cover to cover and then read it again in case I missed something. Go ahead and ask me a question about the new edition.”

Funeral services were held Wednesday at the Cargain Funeral Home in Carmel.

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