Paul E. Schmid PhD passed away at home June 7 as a result of complications from diabetes. He was 85.
Paul was the elder child of Paul Emil and Maria Kleiner Schmid, immigrants from Switzerland. He was born in Washington D.C. May 4, 1931. Paul remained in the area all his life, choosing to settle in Middleburg in 1989. His grandfather, John Jacob Emil Schmid” founded the Columbian Iron Works in 1904. The Washington D.C. Company was a family business specializing in ornamental iron work.
A lifelong advocate for higher education, Paul pursued a college education and encouraged his friends, peers, children, and grandchildren to follow in his footsteps. He graduated from Anacostia High School in 1949, and in 1954 received his Bachelors of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from George Washington University. While working full time, Paul attended the University of Maryland at night and received his Masters Degree in Electrical Engineering in 1961. In 1986, he earned his Doctorate in Electrical Engineering from California Coast University.
Paul was elected to several societies while attending college: Sigma Tau, Sigma Pi Sigma – a National Physics Honor Society, and Delta Epsilon Tau – an International Honor Society. He was especially fond of the Sigma Pi Sigma organization and donated generously to its education fund.
Paul worked for the Ahrendt Instrument Company prior to being drafted into the Army. He served in the Army Signal Corps in the radar service, and received an Honorable discharge in 1963. Post military service, Paul was an Electrical Engineer for Harry Diamond Laboratories, Aero Geo Astro (AGA), and MELPAR. He joined NASA in 1965 as a specialist in satellite search and rescue technology supporting the Apollo missions. In 1970, Paul joined the CIA and served as the Director of Science and Technology until his retirement. After his father’s death in 1972; Paul continued operation of the family Iron Works business,in addition to his federal employment, until it was sold in 1995.
Paul had a passion for amateur radio as a young boy and earned his operator’s license as a young man in high school. His call sign was W4HET and he earned numerous awards, including the American Radio Relay League (ARRL) Lifetime Achievement Award DXCC Honor Roll in March 2016. Paul had contacts all over the globe and headed several expeditions in the Cayman Islands, most recently in 2014.
Paul was preceded in death by his wife of 45 years, June Marie Schmid née Swartz. He is survived by his wife, Shirley Schmid née Dean; his children, Patricia and John Homan, Judy and Paul Schmid, III, Rhonda and James Schmid, Susan and Kurt Kramer, and Barbara and Garth Trinder-Smith; his grandchildren, Lisa and Tim Brennan, Jeffrey Homan, Jennifer Schmid, Emily Schmid, Katrina Schmid, Jessica Schmid, Sarah Schmid, and Gavin Trinder-Smith; and his sister, Sylvia Tocci of Huntsville, Alabama.
At Paul’s request, there will be no memorial service. Condolences may be sent to Mrs. Shirley D. Schmid at Box 1943, Middleburg, VA 20118.
Memorial contributions may be sent to the ARRL (American Radio Relay League) 225 Main Street, Newington, CT 0611 or to Blue Ridge Hospice 333 Cork Street # 405, Winchester VA 22601.