“The Lord is Good.” Those are words Louise Schmidt held particularly dear in (the last two decades of) her life. Her ready smile, her eyes bright, she spoke with heart and certainty about her Lord. In faith we respond as we always have, and as she would expect, by saying, “The Lord is good, indeed.”
Louise Thiem Schmidt died peacefully at her daughter’s home in Austin, Texas, following evacuation from Hurricane Ike. She was 97 years old. Louise is best remembered as a devout Christian; a loving and devoted wife, mother, grandmother, and sister; and a gentle lady who demonstrated love and compassion to all people. In every way, her life was characterized by her service to others, rooted and grounded by her faith in her Lord Jesus Christ.
Louise Matilda Thiem was born in Galveston on July 16, 1911, to Johann “John” and Stephanie (Zaum) Thiem. She and her family survived the “1915 Storm,” which destroyed the family’s saloon and boarding house located at 2827 Market Street, and afterward moved from Galveston to Boliver, Texas. There, her father started business again, operating an ambulatory butcher’s stand. As the first-born daughter, Louise spent her adolescence helping her mother with household chores, caring for her younger siblings, and working as an elevator girl at the Hotel Galvez. She attended public schools in Galveston and was trained at Draughan’s Business College in Galveston.
In 1929, Louise met Joseph Henry Schmidt, son of Henry Bernard and Amelia “Millie” (Ruttiger) Schmidt, and they later married in Galveston on December 24, 1930. The Depression forced the young couple off the island in search of work. But they soon returned to their native city to help Louise’s parents run a butcher’s shop and grocery store at 1601 Mechanic Street, which the young couple later bought from her parents. Over the next six decades, Louise and her husband maintained a thriving corner store, providing an assortment of groceries, produce and meats to the neighborhood residents.
Louise was baptized, confirmed and married at First Evangelical Lutheran Church of Galveston. Throughout her life, she remained a devoted member, faithfully attending Sunday services and participating in social activities. She was fervent and faithful in her intercessory prayers for her family and for others.
Louise was preceded in death by her husband; her parents; her sisters Pauline Thiem Jones and Wilfreda Thiem Fowles; and her brothers Wilfred Washington Thiem, Theodore Rasmus Thiem, John Raedecker Thiem and Emiel Stephen Thiem. Her survivors include her sister-in-law, Muriel Brundrett Thiem; her son, Dr. Joseph Henry Schmidt, Jr. and his wife, Patricia, of Galveston; her daughter, Diane Schmidt Emmert and her husband, David, of Austin. In addition to her children, Louise’s love of life and love for the Lord will live on in her family, particularly her three granddaughters, Dana Emmert Parker and husband, David, of Austin; Deanna Emmert King and husband, Jack, of Austin; and Marilea Schmidt, of Galveston; her three grandsons, Joseph Henry Schmidt, III, and wife, Lisa, of Los Alamos, New Mexico; John David Schmidt and his wife, Melissa, of Galveston; and Mark David Emmert, currently in the Democratic Republic of the Congo; her three great granddaughters, Emma Marie Schmidt of Los Alamos, New Mexico, Rachel Irene Parker, of Austin, Stephanie Louise Parker, of Austin; and five great grandsons, John David Schmidt, Jr., Joshua Alexander Schmidt, and August Joseph Schmidt of Galveston, Colin David Parker of Austin, and Wilhelm Joseph Schmidt of Los Alamos, New Mexico. In addition to her immediate family, she is survived by scores of nieces, nephews, and their children, all of whom knew and loved her as their dear Aunt Louise.
Visitation will be held from 6:00 until 8:00 pm, Friday, November 7th, at First Lutheran Church, 2415 Winnie, in Galveston.
Funeral service will be 11:00 am, Saturday, November 8th, at First Lutheran Church with interment to follow at Oleander Cemetery, 4100 Broadway, in Galveston. Rev. Doug Guthier will officiate the services.
Pallbearers will be David Emmert, Jack King, David Parker, John Schmidt, J.D. Schmidt, Dan Mulvaney, and David Brouillard.
The family wishes to extend special thanks to Juanita Fuentes for her love and care of Louise.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial contributions be made to First Evangelical Lutheran Church at 2415 Winnie, Galveston, TX 77550.