Robert Edward “Bob” Schmidle, Sr
Robert E. Schmidle, Sr, age 94, of Newtown, died peacefully in his home on Echo Valley Road on March 23. Bob was born in Springfield in 1927 to the late Walter and Beatrice (Tellier) Schmidle.
He met the love of his life, Mae (Savko) Schmidle, at the Wise Smith Department Store in Hartford, where she was in advertising and Bob was an auditor. They were married in St Teresa’s Church in Trumbull in 1951. After a reception at the Candlelight Restaurant in Bridgeport, they moved to Buffalo, St Paul, Bridgeport, and Trumbull. Bob and Mae eventually settled in Newtown in 1964 and set about enthusiastically restoring their historic home.
Bob worked for Warnaco, Inc, for over 30 years, retiring in 1991. While at Warnaco he was the driving force behind the company’s industry-leading acquisition and use of IBM mainframe computers. He designed and installed the first computer network system for medium-sized companies in Connecticut that was used for widespread tracking of inventory and expenses.
A passionate fly fisherman, Bob (or “Pop,” as he was known to his family) could always be found fishing for trout somewhere in the country; from Maine to Wyoming, Montana, or as far west as Alberta. His favorite activity was fishing the “hatch” in the evenings at Pierce Pond in Maine. He was an accomplished fisherman whose name appeared regularly “on the board” in the lodge for those who caught the largest of the wily trout. Pop was not only a passionate fly fisherman, but also a committed conservationist who proudly introduced many people (including his initially reluctant wife, Mae) to the pristine Maine wilderness. His other great interest was history, specifically aviation history, and in particular the “Golden Age” of the 1930s. He was also an active member of the Newtown Men’s Club and the “Book Club.”
Bob and Mae enjoyed traveling, especially to Anguilla every winter, where he could enjoy the beach and Mae could enjoy the lobsters, while they both escaped the New England cold. Most of all, they relished time spent with their family: children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, and an occasional cat or dog. Their home was always a magical place at Christmas, warm and red, a time when the entire family would congregate and only then would the Christmas trees be outnumbered.
Bob will always be remembered for his wise counsel on investments and business decisions. If he wasn’t fishing or reading history he could be found managing his aggressive and very successful stock portfolio. He took great pleasure in “beating the street,” something he did with remarkable regularity.
Pop is survived by his three children: Bob, Jr, and his wife, Pam, Paul and his wife, Wendy, and Lisa and her husband, Rob; six grandchildren: Nicholas and his wife, Rikki, Christian and his wife, Jen, Heather and her husband, Chris, Hillary, Baxter and his, fiancé Liz, and Clayton and his, wife Brette; and four great-grandchildren: Oscar, Bohan, Charlie, and Theo.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Mae.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Monday, March 29, at 11 am, in St Rose of Lima Church, 46 Church Hill Road in Newtown. Interment will follow in Newtown Village Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributions to the Pierce Pond Watershed Trust in Bob’s name at app.etapestry.com/onlineforms/mainewildernesswatershedtrust/specialdonation.html.
Funeral arrangements are in care of Honan Funeral Home, 58 Main Street, Newtown.