JoAnn Lois Schmidt
Aug. 8, 1938-April 21, 2023
Palo Alto, CA
JoAnn Lois Schmidt passed away April 21, 2023 in Palo Alto, California surrounded by her loving family and compassionate caregivers. Born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on August 8, 1938 of Agnes and Lester Staab, JoAnn graduated from Lawrence University, BA (French & Education, magnum cum laude) in 1960. She met her husband, Karl Schmidt, while at Lawrence. In June, 2022 they celebrated 66 years of love and devotion to each other and family.
JoAnn was the heart-center of her family; a devoted wife, mother, grandmother and aunt. She was a compassionate teacher who touched the lives of so many children, colleagues and friends with her kindness, empathy and beautiful smile. Quiet and shy, she listened and connected with everyone, especially infants and children, making all feel comfortable, accepted and valued. JoAnn was an accomplished pianist, avid reader and cruciverbalist. She enjoyed sewing, macrame and other crafts, decorating amazing birthday cakes and traveling, especially to Hawaii.
JoAnn taught French and German to middle-schoolers in Wilmette, IL before starting her family and moving to California in 1969. She taught at Trinity School, Menlo Park, coordinated and taught the English curriculum at the French American School in Palo Alto, and finished her professional career teaching and aiding at various grade-levels within the Palo Alto Unified School District.
JoAnn suffered from rheumatoid arthritis, two strokes and Alzheimer’s which finally overwhelmed her. She was blessed with a husband, two children and two grandchildren all of whom survive her: husband, Karl Schmidt; son, Erich Schmidt; daughter, Kristine Berg; granddaughter, Stephanie Berg and husband, Nicholas Tapia; and granddaughter, Devon Schmidt. JoAnn is also survived by her sister, Ruth Peterson, and four nieces and two nephews. We are blessed to know and feel her love, know that she is at peace, and are sustained by her memory and spirit.
A life celebration will be held this summer in Palo Alto. Memorial contributions in JoAnn’s name may be made to: Mission Hospice & Home Care https://www.missionhospice.org/donate/