Stephen P. Schmitt
1926 – 2012
Stephen P. Schmitt died Wednesday, August 15, at the age of 86 in Bear Valley Springs.
Steve was born March 7, 1926, at 7 minutes past 7 a.m. and weighed 7 pounds and 7 ounces (so he claimed) in Rochester, N.Y., and was brought up in Pittsford, N.Y. In his youth, he worked at the local airport in exchange for flying lessons. He soloed when he was 16 and obtained his Private Pilot’s license before learning to drive an automobile.
On his 18th birthday in 1944, he proudly enlisted in the armed services during WWII. He subsequently served in the Philippines attached to an air liaison section of the field artillery. Upon the war’s end, he served for a time in the occupation of Japan.
After his honorable discharge, he enrolled at Purdue University in 1947 and graduated with a B.S. degree in Air Transportation three years later in 1950. He also received a law degree from LaSalle Extension University in 1967.
Steve was employed by Eastern Air Lines in 1950 and was selected for Eastern’s Special Management Program. He then served in various management positions in Miami, Fla.; Jacksonville, Fla.; Columbus, Ohio; and last served as Station Manager in Boston, Mass. From there he became the Director of the Portland, Maine Airport and Public Buildings; Assistant Director of the Des Moines, Iowa Airport; and Kern County Airports Director, where he finally retired. For eleven years he subsequently was the Field Representative for the Bear Valley Springs Environmental Control Committee.
Steve is survived by his beloved wife of nearly 64 years, “Tiger”. He leaves a daughter, Sheryl Lee Laflamme and husband, Frank of Port Charlotte, Fla.; and a son, Stephen P. Schmitt II and wife, Michelle of Charlotte, N.C. He is also survived by four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
Cremation services were provided by Wood Family Funeral Service. Private interment will be held at a later date at Bakersfield National Cemetery, with military honors provided by the United States Air Force.