November 13, 1953 - August 30, 2023
Gus (Erwin August) Schmidt, 69, of Lawrence Kansas, passed away the evening of August 30, 2023. Many structures, sidewalks, and roads throughout the city were shaped by his hand. A construction worker by trade, Gus was a savant who pursued knowledge with the same thirst that drove him to indulge in his one true addiction, Pepsi Cola. Engineering, meteorology, ichthyology, and geology stand out as the key subjects that drew his attention, but he sought knowledge about every part of the world. Sharing these facts with children and grandchildren while beating them in chess, cribbage, and Othello were some of his greatest joys.
When in good health, he toured fishing spots and beautiful campsites all over America. Whether taking a day trip over the Continental Divide or organizing a week-long excursion through the Flint Hills, Gus could be trusted to recall the best places to catch fish, find fossils, and spot constellations. He could name every tree and identify the geological history that impacted the type of earth, foliage, and life in a given biome. Similarly, all manner of animal husbandry and culinary arts were pursuits in which he excelled.
Gus left this world from the comfort of his home surrounded by love. He leaves behind a wife, Sondra Bryant, and six children, Mallory Harlan, Matt Schmidt, Valeria Smith, Lacey Schmidt, Ryan Amsel, and Bethany Schmidt. In addition, a dozen grandchildren mourn his loss. In death he reunites with his parents and a daughter, Bethany Bryant.
At the time of his passing, he had custody of three grandchildren: Silas Schmidt, Zeke Schmidt, and Jed Schmidt. In lieu of flowers, the family would be grateful for donations to assist in covering funeral costs and continuing to provide for the wife and children left in his home. Please contact Mallory Harlan or Bethany Schmidt for more information or email
A celebration of Gus’ life will be held at Clinton Lake September 30, 2023. The service and potluck dinner will begin at 4 PM, located in Bloomington East’s Elm group campsite. This location is reserved for all who would like to stay Saturday night. For more information, please contact the family with the above email address.