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Richard Schmidgall

Richard Schmidgall

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NORMAL — Richard Loren Schmidgall, 72, of Thomaston, Maine, and formerly of Normal, died Dec. 24, 2009, in Brunswick, Maine, surrounded by his family.

A memorial service will be at 3 p.m. Sunday at St. John’s United Church of Christ, Minier. Memorial gifts may be made to Shields Mission Fund, c/o First Congregational Church, 55 Elm St., Camden, ME 04843; or to the Outreach Committee, c/o Federated Church, 8 Hyler St., Thomaston, ME 04861. Long Funeral Home, Camden, Maine, is in charge of arrangements.

He was born June 25, 1937, in Normal, the son of Edgar C. and Lora (Sinn) Schmidgall. He married Dodie (Nickles) Schmidgall on Aug. 29, 1964, in Collinsville.

Surviving are his wife of 45 years, Dodie Schmidgall, Thomaston, Maine; three sons, Todd Schmidgall, Topsham, Maine; Chris Schmidgall, Portland, Ore.; and Brandon Schmidgall, Portland, Maine; his stepmother, Evelyn Schmidgall, Minier; three brothers, Theodore Schmidgall, Armington; Daniel Schmidgall, Pekin; and Edgar Schmidgall, Naperville; a sister, Linda (Schmidgall) Hartman, Tucson, Ariz.; and many nieces and nephews.

He was predeceased by his parents; brothers, Kenneth and Robert; and a sister, Bonita.

He graduated from Illinois State University, Normal, in 1966, and continued graduate studies at Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville, and at Bradley University, Peoria.

Rich taught American history at Alton High School for five years then served as education director for private education in Minnesota and Missouri for five years.

After vacationing in Maine during the bicentennial, Rich and his family moved to Rockport, Maine, in 1977. He spent eight years employed at LaVerdiere’s Pharmacy in Rockland, Maine, and in 1985, Rich and Dodie realized their dream of opening a bed and breakfast in Camden, Maine. They established and operated the Nathaniel Hosmer Inn in Camden for 18 years, retiring in 2003. During part of this time, Rich also worked at the Coastal Workshop, Camden.

Rich and Dodie enjoyed traveling during their retirement and spending winters in Portland, Ore., with their son, Chris. For the past three years, he had worked parttime delivering for local retail pharmacies.

Rich served as Sunday School teacher, deacon, trustee, delegate and a pastoral search committee member. He was a longtime, faithful member of the First Congregational Church, UCC, in Camden until moving to Thomaston three years ago. Rich was a member of the Federated Church in Thomaston. He was a volunteer with Coastal Family Hospice, and was on the board of directors for the Bay Chamber Concerts in Rockport.

Books, art and music were essential to his happiness. Rich was a passionate reader, owning a varied collection of books. He was an avid reader of The New York Times, and never left the house without a book or newspaper in his hand. You could always find Rich listening to classical or jazz music. He loved singing and harmonizing, which seems to be a “Schmidgall trait.” When two or more Schmidgalls are together, there will be singing. He enjoyed playing his saxophone and recorder. You could often find Rich on his deck where he ate breakfast daily, rain or shine, cold or warm, simply enjoying the beauty and sounds of nature.

Rich took great pride in the appearance of his lawn and flower gardens. Many days he could be found working on them until after sunset.

His family was of utmost importance in his life and was so proud of his three sons, and enjoyed interacting with them as adults. He once wrote to them “know you all are greatly loved and respected. I’m glad I got to know you all. You have enriched my life and many others, too.” Of course, everyone who knew Rich knew his sons had the ideal role model. He lived his life based on his devotion to God and his family.

Rich was known to be very creative in his gift-giving. However, this Christmas he was the recipient of the ultimate gift! 

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