Tribute to Jennifer Schmidt
Jennifer Schmidt, whose death from cancer on February 2 at the age of 39, deeply saddened not only her family and friends, but also
the wide circle of acquaintances she had gained through her work for cancer support agencies.
Diagnosed five years ago, she was overwhelmed by the support she received from Temora CanAssist and became a committed member of that organisation, serving for a time as its secretary.
Her mission was to promote awareness of all forms of cancer, and breast cancer in particular.
She came up with innovative ways of raising funds and Sunday in Pink was one of those events recognised by the community when it won event of the year at the local Australia Day awards.
The driving force behind the Minifield of Women, hosted by the Temora Womenís Support Group last year, Mrs Schmidt was so successful at raising awareness because she was such an approachable person.
Born on June 12, 1970, in the Temora and District Hospital, she was the daughter of Graham and the late Margaret Grinter.
Her early school years were spent at Ariah Park Central School and after completing Year 10, she moved to Temora High School, where she had hoped to pursue studies in Home Science.
When a change in curriculum meant this was no longer possible, she left to become a full time day secretarial student at Temora TAFE.
Her working life, away from the farm, commenced at a local supermarket and later at J.A. Gunnís accountancy practice and the St. George Bank branch.
Illness then caused several interruptions to her career, during which time she was employed by Shayne Perrot Accountants, Elders in Ariah Park and Paisley Robertson Accountants.
From her early years, she took an active interest in Retallack, the family farm and stud, and was largely responsible for maintaining the farm books and stud records.
She also took an active interest in showing stud sheep and helped with them from a young age.
This continued throughout her life until quite recently.
When she became ill, her father set up an education trust for his grandchildren in the form of the Metallack Border Leicester Sheep Stud.
With that stud, Mrs Schmidt and her children, Aimee, Meg and Callum, won champion ribbons at both Sydney and Melbourne Royal Shows, something she was very proud of.
As well as the family stud interest, she enjoyed cake decorating in her younger years, was a good tennis player, particularly in the Ariah Park competition, and a keen competitor at pony club events with Barmedman Pony Club.
She also played basketball and touch footy and encouraged her own children to enjoy sport with the philosophy that sportsmanship and being a good team member were more important than winning.
Growing up on the farm, she and her sister Glenda were typical farm kids, developing a love of animals and enjoyed helping with all the farm chores.
Her passion for horse riding saw her join her father on a number of riding trips through the mountains before access to these areas was restricted.
These adventures opened another door of nature, allowing her to observe many animals in their wild habitat.
She took on added family responsibilities following the death of her mother in 1984, maintaining close ties with her father and sister.
Marrying Stephen Schmidt, she became part of the extended Schmidt, Liebich and Schultz families and her genuine love of family was one of her most endearing qualities, as was her loyalty as a friend.
Mrs Schmidt succumbed to her illness on February 2.
Her husband Stephen, children Aimee, Meg and Callum, her father Graham and stepmother Isabella and sister Glenda survive her.
Fr. Phil Harding conducted her largely attended funeral service in the Sacred Heart Catholic Church on February 8, during which Margie Goode delivered the eulogy.
Guards of honour were formed by the Temora Fire Brigade and students of St. Anneís School. Interment took place in the Temora Lawn Cemetery.
Jennifer Schmidt with children, Meg and Aimee,
proudly displaying a Retallack sheep at the 2006
Australian Sheep and Wool Show, at Bendigo.
Jennifer had a strong interest and active involvement
in the operation of the familyís Retallack Stud.
Picture from the past 1991 Sydney
Royal Easter Show