On March 21, 2014 Elizabeth Patricia Schmidt, "Pat", peacefully left this world to join her Lord in Heaven. Pat was born in Dublin, Ireland to James and Suzanne (Devlin) Dempsey. She was raised in Dublin until she was twelve when she relocated to Middlesex, England with her mother and five siblings upon her father being called to fight in WWII. She left England for the United States in 1955 eventually settling in Merced, California with her four children.
Pat's story is one of great joy and accomplishment. On October 23, 1971, she married Jerry Schmidt and for forty-two years Jerry lovingly called her his honey. During her time in Merced, Pat became a well-known and respected business woman. She attended Merced Beauty College, became an instructor there, and opened numerous self-run beauty shops in the area. Throughout the 1980's and 90's Pat and Jerry, along with their three sons, owned and operated three successful businesses, including two pool supply stores and the all-women's fitness center, Feminine Fitness. After selling Feminine Fitness, Pat went to work for Merced County where she retired after devoting ten years of service to those less fortunate than she.
Pat remained active in all facets of a well lived life. As a women recognized for her leadership in business, Pat belonged to both the Merced and Atwater Chambers of Commerce. She also sang in her church choir for many years, travelled to countless different countries and regions, and enjoyed spending time with her RV Group, the Gypsies. But most of all, Pat relished the time she spent surrounded by her family, including her four children, nine grandchildren and ten great-grandchildren, the youngest of which, her namesake Elizabeth, was born in January.
Pat was preceded in death by her parents, James and Suzanne Dempsey, her brother Jack Dempsey, and her son James "Jimmy" Foltz.
Pat is survived by her husband of 42 years, Jerry Schmidt; daughter Suzanne (Paul) Rowe-Coonce, son Steve (Barbara) Foltz, son John Foltz and step-daughter Louanna Schmidt; her brother James (Valerie) Dempsey, sisters Maureen (Sidney) Day, Phyllis (Ninky) Poole and Suzanne (Rick) Ayala; grandchildren Sarah (Michael) Clutts, Alissa (Chris) Cornell, Jamie Foltz, Adam (Megan) Rowe, Robbie Foltz, Stevie Foltz, JJ (Sahrah) Foltz, Whitney (Joe) Barrett, and Ashley Foltz; ten great-grandchildren and numerous nieces, nephews and other relatives.
A memorial service will be held at Atwater Baptist Church, 2124 First Street, Atwater, at 2:00 pm on April 12, 2014. The family will be greeting friends and relatives immediately following the services.
Arrangements under the direction of Stratford Evans Merced Funeral Home, Merced, CA.