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1927 Emile 2012

Emile O. Schmidt

July 28, 1927 — August 1, 2012

In the early morning hours of August 1, 2012, Emile O. Schmidt died surrounded by his family, three days after celebrating his 85th birthday. Emile was born and raised in the Bronx, New York, as a first-generation Danish American.
Emile’s love of the theatre began when he saw his first Broadway play as a child. As a young man, he worked in the professional theatre with some of the major stars of the day. After serving in the US Navy, he attended Ursinus College and went on to receive his master’s degree from Columbia University. Emile met his beloved wife Patricia Martell while a professor at Springfield College. He spent the majority of his 50-year tenure as a professor of theatre at Gettysburg College, where he founded the theatre arts department. The College honored him as Professor of the Year, established the ongoing “Emile O. Schmidt Awardâ€Â for theatre students, and named the tower in Brua Hall in his honor.
Together with his wife Patricia, they brought hundreds of plays to the Gettysburg community over 20 years of summer theatre. Emile designed the Kline Theatre in Brua Hall, which now serves as home to the Gettysburg Theatre Department. His legacy as director, teacher, and mentor will long be felt by the thousands of students whose lives he touched in the classroom and on the stage.
Emile is survived by Patricia, his wife of 53 years, his children Kristine Pegno, Jenni Shomaker, Matthew Schmidt, their spouses Matt Shomaker and Dina Schmidt, and six grandchildren, Joshua, Jeffrey, Brian, Misha, Erik, and Rebecca. He is also survived by his sister Barbara Norman and numerous nieces and nephews.
The funeral will be held on Sunday, August 5, 2012, at 2:00 pm, at St. John’s Episcopal Church, on the Square, Carlisle, with a visitation at Hoffman-Roth Funeral Home, 219 North Hanover Street, Carlisle on Saturday, August 4, from 6 - 8 pm. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Theatre Arts Special Gifts Fund at Gettysburg College, Campus Box 423, Gettysburg, PA 17325.
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