Bertha "Bert" Schmitt

April 17, 1939 - April 7, 2015
Plainwell, MI



Thursday, April 9, 2015
4:00 PM to 7:00 PM EDT
Life Story Funeral Homes - Rupert, Durham, Marshall & Gren
Plainwell Location
120 South Woodhams Street
Plainwell, MI 49080
(269) 685-5881

Rosary Thursday 6:30pm

Driving Directions


Friday, April 10, 2015
10:00 AM to 11:00 AM EDT
St. Margaret Catholic Church
766 S. Farmer Street
Otsego, MI 49078
Web Site


At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.

West Michigan Cancer Center
200 North Park Street
Kalamazoo, MI 49007
(269) 382-2500
Driving Directions
Web Site

St. Vincent de Paul Ministry
766 S. Farmer
Otsego, MI 49078


Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.

Plainwell Flowers
117 S. Main
Plainwell, MI 49080
(269) 685-8055
Driving Directions
Web Site

River Rose
(269) 692-3951

Life Story / Obituary


Bertha “Bert” Schmitt, devoted wife of 56 years, mother of three sons, passed away April 7, 2015 after her battle with cancer. She was a driven women who wanted to make the most of each moment. Determined, thoughtful, organized, and hardworking, are words that aptly describe her personality. In lighter moments she had a laugh that was hearty, contagious, and noteworthy. Bert lived to nurture and care for her family that grew to include the children and grandchildren she adored. Although she will be deeply missed, Bertha’s memory will remain a lasting treasure for generations to come.

Life during the 1930s was anything but easy as the entire decade was cloaked in the hardship of the Great Depression. By 1939 the most challenging years were behind us, but we still had so far to go in order to make a full recovery. WWII began moving across more of Europe, although it wasn’t until the vicious attack on our naval base in Pearl Harbor in 1941 that America officially engaged in the fight for the preservation of the freedoms that we still enjoy today. As spring unfolded in the city of Monette, Arkansas, in 1939, Grady and Mildred (Brown) Lewis were filled with great anticipation as they awaited the birth of their new baby. The big day finally arrived when the baby girl they named Bertha made her arrival on April 17th. She was the youngest of three daughters. She was born and raised in the family home alongside her sisters, Helen and Barbara. Bertha’s parents were hard working farmers who instilled within their children a strong work ethic. She was a student at local schools including Monette High School.

Shortly after graduating from high school in 1956, Bert traveled to Kalamazoo, Michigan to visit her aunt and uncle. She then made a bold decision to stay in Michigan. Through her energy and determination she quickly found a job at Mastercraft as a secretary. New and exciting changes were in store for Bertha when she met her future husband, Elden Schmitt. Over time, a serious relationship began to grow. With a desire to spend the rest of their lives together, Bertha and Elden were married on July 3, 1959. Together they welcomed three sons including David, Douglas, and Dennis into their hearts and home. As a unique gift her son Dennis was born on her birthday!

From the moment she became a mother, Bert fully immersed herself in the role. She was there for all of her sons’ events and activities, and she was the loudest cheerleader around. In fact, throughout her life Bertha was there to support her entire family in their activities as often as she could. As her family and friends can attest, Bertha was a wonderful cook, and her specialties were all kinds of southern foods. Her meatloaf and tacos were Elden’s favorites, and she also made the best cornbread and ham. Of course, her holiday dinners were second to none as she always went over and above to make the day special. When grandchildren began arriving, Bertha couldn’t have been happier, and her four grandchildren, Joshua, Sabreeya, Hunter, and Najae were the light of her life. From her fathers example, she modeled a strong work ethic. Through this, she instilled an invaluable life lesson to her family "actions speak louder than words".

Bertha maintained an active and healthy lifestyle. She enjoyed riding her bike and swimming. She especially loved the cool waters of Lake Michigan. Bertha had her private pilot’s license, which she earned while she was pregnant with Dennis. She loved traveling and frequented Branson, Missouri, where she enjoyed watching the shows. Bertha liked a leisurely picnic, and when it came to music she liked country western, Danny L. Daniel, and Elvis. When relaxing, Bertha enjoyed quilting. She enjoyed volunteering her time at the food pantry at Christian Neighbors and St. Vincent de Paul Ministry which is located at St. Margaret Catholic Church.

With a life that spanned times of great change in the world around her, Bertha Schmitt was a blessing to many. She was energetic and lively. When Bert loved, she loved very deeply. She will be forever missed while her timeless legacy is carried on by those who follow in her footsteps.

Bertha “Bert” Schmitt, of Plainwell, passed away on Tuesday, April 7, 2015. Bert is survived by her husband, Elden; two sons: David (Sheri) Schmitt, of IN; Dennis (Janet) Schmitt, of Zeeland; four grandchildren: Joshua, Sabreeya, Hunter, and Najae; sister Barbara "Bobbie" Keenan, of AR; nieces and nephew, Jimmy Schmitt, Charlotte Stewart and Shirley Rice. Bert was preceded in death by her son, Douglas in 1983, and sister, Helen Sipes in 1980. The family will receive friends on Thursday from 4-7 p.m. with a Rosary at 6:30 p.m., Life Story Funeral Home, 120 S. Woodhams, Plainwell (269-685-5881). A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Friday at 10 a.m., St. Margaret Catholic Church, 766 Farmer Street, Otsego. Burial at Hillside Cemetery. Please visit Bert’s webpage at www.lifestorynet.com where you can sign the guestbook or share a photo and/or memory. Those who wish may make memorial contributions to the St. Vincent de Paul Ministry and/or West Michigan Cancer Center.