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Leo Arthur Schmit


January 2, 2020

Leo Arthur Schmitt, 76, of Laurel, Montana, returned to his heavenly home on December 18, 2019. He was born March 9, 1943, in Bozeman, Montana, to Floyd and Freda (Thompson) Schmitt. He was the 2nd oldest of 7 children. He graduated from Three Forks High School in 1961. He married Patricia Joan Esterby on June 7, 1970, in Billings, MT.

Leo enlisted in the Air Force in Aug. 1961. He was an aircraft mechanic and worked on the flight line for the fighter jets. He also served in Okinawa with temporary duty in Saigon. He was discharged in May of 1966 and then attended mechanic school in Havre, MT.

In 1969, he started working for Deere & Co. at the Minneapolis, MN branch as a service representative. In 1975, he was transferred to Waterloo, IA where he was responsible for Diagnostic Operation & Test Development. He developed test procedures and gathered data for Operation and Test Technical Manual Authors. He retired from John Deere in 1999, but then signed an 8 year contract with Almon Inc. to continue Product Development for John Deere row-crop and 4-wheel drive tractors.

In retirement, Leo continued to enjoy hunting, fishing, carpentry, genealogy, astronomy and reading books about Lewis & Clark, politics and US and military history. He also continued working on tractors, helping local ranchers and anyone who needed help with a project.

Leo was preceded in death by his parents; sister, Frances; grandson, Cory Hunter.

He is survived by his wife, Pat; daughters Jodi (Alan) Hunter of Rockford, IL, Kristi (Jim) Hoffmann of Stillwater, MN; sisters, Arlene (Jim) Bouley of Helena, MT, Madeline (Doug) Engelking of Helena, MT, Irene (Tim) Steffen of Vandalia, MI; brothers, Dewey (Sandra) of Three Forks, MT, Leonard (Linda) of Lynn Haven, FL; grandchildren Leah and Ryan Hunter of Rockford, IL, Calvin Dougherty and Broden Hoffmann of Stillwater, MN.

A funeral service will be held at 11 am, Friday, January 3 at The Rock Church in Laurel, MT and burial at Yellowstone National Cemetery with military rites performed by VFW Post 6774.

Memorials are suggested to Wounded Warrior Project, PO Box 758516, Topeka, KS 66675-8516 and, phone 319-277-0924.


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