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Paul L. Schmiedel, 96, of Bisbee, Ariz., formerly of Momence, Ill. and Elmira, N.Y. passed from this life on March 30, 2012.
He was born on Sept. 7, 1915 in Ridgway, the youngest son of William H. Schmiedel and Myrtle Anna Moore. He was educated in the Ridgway Public Schools. Following his graduation during the Great Depression he served in the Civil Conservation Corps (CCC). After moving to Arizona he shared his experiences in the CCC in a life history project conducted by Colossal Cave in Tucson, Colossal Cave is a legacy of the CCC and is a National Repository for CCC history. He graduated from Thiel College in Greenville, PA where he was a member of the Alpha Sigma Phi Fraternity. He then went on to Mt. Airy Seminary in Germantown. Following completion of his studies he entered the Lutheran Ministry serving parishes in Pennsylvania, Indiana, Texas, and New York. Later he worked for the State of New York and at the time of his retirement was Personnel Director for the Elmira Psychiatric Center in Elmira, New York.
In 1942 he married the love of his life, Edna S. Burwell of Philadelphia. She predeceased him in June of 1984 after 42 years of marriage. Having grown up in Western Pennsylvania, he had a love of the outdoors. In his retirement he had a vision of restoring a farm in the Chemung Valley, but winter visiting in Arizona introduced other passions. Minerals and rock hounding developed into a consuming hobby. While in Momence, he became active in AARP and in Illinois advocacy for the elderly. Throughout his life he always had a companion dog, especially Siberian Huskies. Automotive technology was another interest particularly the Jordan automobile.
He is survived by his daughter, Christine L. Fry and son-in-law Robert E. Fry of Bisbee, Ariz. Also surviving are a cousin, Kathryn Lilja of Dagus Mines, and a niece, Susan Holter, of Libby, Mont. Cremation rites were accorded and a memorial will be held at a later time in Ridgway.