Gus (Erwin August) Schmidt

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 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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. 

Read Prayers and Memory's for “Gus (Erwin August) Schmidt”

  • Gus was thee love of my life ❤️. He was one of the only real men left ?. He leaves his love for us to remember. I love you always baby ❤️ 

  • I loves you everyday all day Dad! You were the best one of them all! Thank you so much for being there for me and my family and my mother! I miss you dearly and sometimes hear your voice in my mind! Old memories flood in my head randomly! 

  • I loves you everyday all day Dad! You were the best one of them all! Thank you so much for being there for me and my family and my mother! I miss you dearly and sometimes hear your voice in my mind! Old memories flood in my head randomly! 

  • My heart aches, big brother, because we didn't know one another better as we grew older and life pulled us so far apart. I remember being so amazed at all you saw and pointed out if we walked through a wild area together. You were truly one of a kind, and I loved you more than you knew.

  • Highschool; Gus was quite a guy, I have to laugh as I think about the many times, he would put someone through the glass door into the courtyard that was along the halls as we walked to our next class. As proem night came me & my date, Gus and his date were all dressed up, Gus wanted to take us out to this new restaurant, it was a taco place, new, we never heard of this place before, it was a fast-food place - shoot we didn't even have a McDonalds yet, so this was special!   He was all anxious for us all to try eating a burrito for the first time.  He paid for all of us to try this new dish and it was a hit!  I think he was pretty happy about our reactions! I love Mexican food to this day thanks to Gus.  Gus spoke of living in Alaska with such fondness, each word would express the beauty his eyes of memory could still see as he recalled living there, I often wondered if he returned.  I look back 50+ years now and read of his passing, it looks like the outdoors was his sanctuary, may the trees embrace him, may the branches lift him up and cradle him in their arms as they reach up to our Creator to receive Gus at his coming holding my long-ago friend. May His family have peace. 

  • Goodbye big brother Gus. You raced through life trying to seize all you could from every moment. From the best in books and food through madness and car chases, you were determined to taste all the world offered. Your complete lack of fear was a thing to behold and taught me to be strong. I remember being in 3rd grade when you scolded me for letting a dog scare me and chase my bike. "You are twice the size of that dog"... you told me, "It should be afraid of you". It was a lesson I took to heart. Even today, whenever I'm in a situation that calls for me to be strong and steadfast, I think of it as channeling my inner Gus. Rest in peace and love big brother.

  • Standing by a lake in Kansas, Gus gave me the “think like a fish “ lecture.  Suddenly I understood: he was visualizing the entire underwater landscape almost as if he lived there! That lecture changed the way I see bodies of water.

    Gus was witty and quick and often hilarious. He had an amazing ability to retain information. Full of emotion and energetic strength, he was a powerful and undeniable presence.

    He was my brother and it is hard to comprehend that he is not on this earth.

     I miss him.

     

  • I spent many teen years at the Schmidt house surrounded by some of your siblings (though some had left home by then). I am so sorry that you have lost one of your pack. It is so difficult to lose a sibling.  They are really the only people (supposed) to know us all of our lives...from childhood to old age.  It is so disruptive (wrong!) when one of us leaves early.  I send my love and care to all the siblings, wife, children, grands, nieces and nephews and more...

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