Praising God and rejoicing as Chester Schmidt went peacefully to be with his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, at his home surrounded by his loving family on October 28, 2020.
Chester "Chet" Schmidt was born on August 27, 1930, as a gift to his parents James and Adele (nee. Lavdanski) Schmidt in Queens, NY. He was their only child. Though the early years of his life were met with many challenges, God always had His hand on Chet. It was when he settled down in Canarsie, NY, that a new chapter of Chet's life began. While enjoying his greatest pleasures like playing baseball and working on cars, Chet met Margaret "Marge" Freas, who was first his friend and quickly became the love of his life and future wife. They were married on February 3, 1951. Chet and Marge began their simples lives in Canarsie but moved to North Massapequa, Long Island, to start a family. They had six children, four biological, and God blessed them with the opportunity to become the parents of two adopted children. Once their family was full, Chet and Marge moved south to Ft. Lauderdale, FL, and after to Highlands, NC, which they considered to be "Almost Heaven." Their last move brought them to Mint Hill, NC.
Although Chet did not know the Lord at an early age, God showed His mercy in 1957 at Madison Square Garden, where Chet surrendered his life to Jesus as he walked forward to the song "Just As I Am" at a Billy Graham crusade. It was then Chet and Marge became equally yoked and began their work for the Lord. One of his first examples of being a servant of Christ was his enthusiasm for the treasured time he had while reading the Word of God. His children often saw him in the early mornings reading and praying, knowing his prayers included each of them. Although far from perfect, Chet was a supportive husband, a caring dad to his children, and a joy to his grandchildren and great-grandchildren, all of whom he loved unconditionally.
Chet was blessed with the gift of serving, using it every chance he could, touching every life he met. Together, Chet and Marge's passion was to save the unborn. They took into their home many pregnant women, caring for their spiritual, physical, and emotional needs, even after their pregnancies. Because of this, many babies were given a chance of life. While living in Highlands, along with their forever lifetime friends, Chet and Marge were at the forefront of starting Community Bible Church in Highlands, NC. Regardless of where Chet lived, he had a passion for his church where he volunteered in leadership roles, loved singing in the choir, and was always dependable to serve, especially in the background, whenever a need arose.
God also blessed Chet with the incredible gift to build or repair anything he could get his hands on. These skills lead to his life's work--collision and auto body repair. He started in his teens and eventually owned his own business, Highlands Auto Body. He was color blind and could not match his clothes (Marge was his clothes coordinator), but when it came to painting a car, it was impossible to see where the original paint ended, and the new paint color began. Much more significant were the comments made by his customers and other business owners stating they could trust Chet. They all witnessed his personal relationship with Christ as he served his community with great integrity.
Chet had a love for sports, whether watching or playing, especially baseball, tennis, and golf. He also had a keen sense when playing cards. Almost everyone wanted to be his partner in Bridge, Canasta, or any other card game he had the opportunity to play. Still, his choice of partners was always his wife. Despite the times she played the wrong cards, they laughed after losing the games they played with friends and family.
Chet's serving heart and deep faithfulness blessed Marge until the day she joined the Lord in 2013. They were married for 63 years. He continued to be a beacon of God's light to his family, to widows and the fatherless, for those who could not defend themselves, his friends, neighbors, church, and anyone else he met. Chet did not know a stranger.
Even in the end, he shared the Good News until his last days on this earth. His legacy of wisdom, kindness, an irresistible sense of humor, along with his servant's heart, will be missed by his family and friends.
The words Chet longed to hear, "Well done, my good and faithful son," has been accomplished. We know through Christ's death, resurrection, and forgiveness of our sins, that we do not need to say goodbye, but rather that we will see him in a little while. It is then, together, we will kneel before God's mighty throne of grace.
Thank you all for being part of his life.
"Our soul waits for the Lord;
he is our help and our shield.
For our heart is glad in him,
because we trust in his holy name.
Let your steadfast love, O Lord, be upon us,
even as we hope in you."
Chet had compassion for many ministries. In lieu of flowers, please donate to your favorite ministry.
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