Ferenc Joseph Schmidt, died on December 1st in the kind and gentle care of the staff in Shell Point Hospice. He was born in Balatonfured, Hungary in 1921. Educated at Benedictine Colleges in Hungary and Belgium , he went on to study at Charlottenburg University in Berlin where he was awarded a Ph.D in Chemical Engineering ,specializing in metallurgical studies.
He met and married his wife Joan Kavanagh in Ireland and they moved to U.S.
His special area of expertise would see him work with NASA on the Space Program, where his research enabled the use of heat resistant materials essential in rocket launching.
He managed several of the missile and space programs and his research papers were published in technical journals which led to speaking engagements both in the U.S. and overseas. Whilst he was Vice President for Research and Development at Ametek Corp he carried out groundbreaking research into Solar Energy. He was awarded the Tager-Yoffee international award, One-In-A-Thousand Engineering Award specifically for his contributions to the GE Space Program, a Distinguished Inventor Award and the US Department of Commerce Award for his contribution to International trade.
Ferenc traveled all over the world on US Government assignments and in his spare time with his wife Joan. Ferenc was fluent in a number of languages .He was a brilliant man who carried his knowledge lightly and he continued to develop new products throughout his long life including a titanium aneurysm clip used in neurosurgery.
The Schmidt's lived in Cuba, Alabama and Nevada before finally settling in Ardmore, Pennsylvania where they lived for more than 30 years. They first came to Sanibel in the 50's when the island was only accessible by ferry.
Having spent many vacations on Sanibel, Ferenc and Joan bought land and built a house for their eventual retirement.
The Schmidt's home was always filled with relatives and friends from far and near.
Ferenc was a generous and hospitable host. A gentleman in the true sense. His twinkling eyes, his smiling face and his unique sense of humour will never be forgotten by all those who knew him.
He is survived by his wife Joan, his son Revel pre deceased him, his grandchildren, Devin her husband Ryan, Michael, Turner and Rory and his great-grandson Stanley, his nephews and nieces in Sanibel, Arizona and Ireland , his sisters-in-law, brother-in-law and many friends in US and Ireland.