DAVENPORT — Msgr. W. Robert Schmidt, 88, a retired priest of the Diocese of Davenport and former longtime diocesan superintendent of Catholic schools, died May 5 at the Kahl Home.
He was born June 15, 1931 in Ottumwa, a son of Clarence and Grace (Wrenn) Schmidt. He graduated from St. Ambrose College and from the University of Iowa with a master’s degree, an education specialist degree and a Ph.D. He also did graduate studies at the University of Notre Dame. He completed his theology studies at Mt. St. Bernard Seminary in Dubuque.
On June 1, 1957, he was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Ralph Hayes at Sacred Heart Cathedral in Davenport. Then-Father Schmidt served at St. Boniface Parish-Clinton, Assumption High School-Davenport, Mercy School of Nursing-Iowa City, the Carmelite Monastery-Bettendorf, Sacred Heart Parish-Lost Nation, St. James Parish-Toronto, St. Anthony Parish-Davenport and St. Andrew Parish-Blue Grass. Msgr. Schmidt served as diocesan superintendent of Catholic schools from 1970-97. He received the title of monsignor in 1981.
Msgr. Schmidt served as diocesan vicar for priests and held other leadership positions. He served on the State of Iowa Social Work Examiners Board and as national vice president and diocesan director of the Holy Childhood Association, an organization he took great pride in helping. He also headed the Diocesan Volunteer Program for Central and South America and was a member of the St. Ambrose University Board of Trustees. He retired from active ministry in 2006.
His funeral was held at Halligan-McCabe-DeVries Funeral Home, with the service livestreamed on May 9. Burial will be in Calvary Cemetery in Ottumwa, Iowa. A memorial Mass will be held later.
Memorials may be directed to Assumption High School in Davenport or Seton Catholic School, Ottumwa.