Deceased March 18, 2017
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Upon the death of Paul Schmidt, his devoted wife, Mim, wrote a memorial salute that began: “We called him Mr. Indestructible. But after rebounding from multiple health crises, his heart—his good, good heart—said, ‘Enough, set me free.’”
Paul died on March 18, three days short of his 86th birthday. Paul and Mim lived in San Francisco, the end point of a life journey that began for Paul in Philadelphia, where he graduated from William Penn Charter School. At Amherst, Paul majored in psychology and was a member of the Lord Jeff Club.
Those who knew Paul at Amherst will not be surprised by two characteristics Mim wrote about. He was, she said, “something of radical” and greatly enthusiastic about whatever he was doing.
She said Paul had a “lifelong empathy for the disadvantaged and advocacy for social justice,” always ready to sign peace petitions and join protests.
He was, Mim continued, “always Mr. Exuberance. A friend once remarked, ‘Paul is like the ocean,’ seeming often to envelop those around him with his high spirits, warmth and good cheer.”
After Amherst, Paul worked for a Philadelphia laboratory that made television films of medical procedures for doctors, followed by an advertising stint in San Francisco.
He then obtained a master’s degree in rehabilitation counseling and joined an organization called Youth for Service, working with street gangs. When funds dried up, Paul set up a business of his own called Pak/Ship. After time in Japan and Hong Kong, Paul and Mim returned to San Francisco. In those years, Paul found success in investing in the stock market.
Concluding, Mim wrote: “For over 50 years, I was the grateful recipient of his joy, love and devotion.”
George Gates ’53