Frank Michael Schmitt, 79, of Abraham Hollow Rd., Pittsfield, passed away, unexpectedly Wednesday, November 21, 2012 at Warren General Hospital.
Frank was born on May 8, 1933 in Buffalo, NY, a son of the late Frank M. and Grace (McHale) Schmitt, in the Black Rock section, about two blocks from the Erie Canal and the Niagara River. He attended St. Francis Xavier RC Grade School and graduated from McKinley Vocational High School in 1951 (Machine Shop). That same year, Carol Dorothy Churchill moved in next door and they were engaged on her Senior Prom Night 1952. In August of 1952, Frank entered the US Marine Corp for 3 years. Frank and Carol were married on September 10, 1955 at St. Francis Xavier Church. After his discharge from the Marine Corp in 1955, he took advantage of the Korean GI bill and attended Flight School in Buffalo where he later worked as a Flight Instructor and Charter Pilot.
In 1960, Frank was hired by Allegheny Airlines, which eventually became US Air then US Airways. He was based in Cleveland for 6 years and at that time, Donna Jean Schmitt was born on October 31, 1963 and then Michael Glenn was born on July 2, 1966. That year, they relocated to Beaver Falls, Pa. and Frank was based at the Pittsburgh Airport.
Frank flew many types of aircraft and retired in 1992 after 32 years with the Airline. Eleven years of that time, he held the position of Check and Training Pilot. He was also involved in Flight Safety for the airline. At the time he retired, Frank had logged over 23,000 accident and violation free flying hours.
After retirement, they moved to a log home in Pittsfield Township he and Carol owned near a camp he had previously owned with Frank Salzer, a former WWII B17 Bomber Pilot with 32 missions over Germany and was then a FAA Tower Controller at the Erie Airport.
Hunting, fishing and shooting golf were his favorite sports. Not to mention more flying, as he owned an open cockpit PT22 and later a T34 Navy Warbird airplane. Though it was kept mainly at Beaver County Airport, it also spent time at the Brokenstraw Airport.
Frank was a Deputy Sheriff in Beaver County for many years. He is a life member of the Marine Corp League in Warren, the American Legion Post 658 in Youngsville, where he served on the honor guard, AMVets in Sugar Grove and VFW in Florida. He is a member of the Elk and Moose Lodges and also a Master Mason in the Stillwater Lodge #547 FA&M in Youngsville, the Consistory at New Castle and the ZemZem Shrine Temple in Erie.
Today, both of Frank's children reside in Florida and work for USAirways. Donna is a Flight Attendant and Michael is a pilot with the airline.
Along with Carol and his children, Frank is survived by his grandchildren Erica Lynn, Brandon Michael and Michael Thomas Schmitt, a younger sister Maralynn Lindstrom and many nieces and nephews. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by a brother Kenneth Schmitt and a sister Lorraine Serviss.
Friends and family may call on Sunday from 25 p.m. at the Nelson Funeral Home and Cremation Services, 314 North Main St. in Youngsville. Members of the Youngsville Stillwater Lodge will conduct their funeral ritual at the funeral home at 1:45 p.m. A funeral service will be held on Monday at 1 p.m. at the Youngsville Free Methodist Church, 240 E. Main St. in Youngsville with the Rev. Father Brian Reed, officiating. Burial will be in the Warren County Memorial Park. Members of the Youngsville American Legion Honor Guard will be providing full Military Honors. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Toys for Tots or to a charity of one's choice in Frank's name. Condolences to the family may be made at www.nelsonfuneralhome.net.