Dick Schmidt, chairman and former president and CEO of C.G. Schmidt Inc., died Thursday at age 77.
Schmidt, a longtime West Bend resident, died at Kathy Hospice in West Bend. The cause of death was undisclosed.
Rick Schmidt, Dick Schmidt’s oldest son and current president and CEO of the Milwaukee construction management company, said his father made safety a priority at the company, which he said was the first in the area to require workers to wear hard hats on the job.
“He’s a man of very high integrity,” Rick Schmidt said, “and he very deeply cared about his employees, and therefore he cared about safety.”
Dick Schmidt joined the family company in 1952 as a mason apprentice but left to go to college and serve in the U.S. Coast Guard in Alaska.
After rejoining the company, he became president and CEO in 1984. He had been chairman since 1992.
Dan Davis, senior vice president for C.G. Schmidt, recalled the first message Schmidt gave him in 1989, when Davis joined the company.
“I asked him what his company is all about, and he said it’s about always doing the right thing,” Davis said, “and that echoed in my ears all the years he was alive and will continue echoing in my ears until I’m done working.”
Mike Abuls, executive vice president and COO, said Schmidt made the same point during their last conversation.
“Money is something you need to sustain a business,” he said, “but in the big scheme, it really isn’t that important.”
Schmidt is survived by his wife, Susan, and 10 children. In addition to Rick Schmidt, three other sons work at C.G. Schmidt — David is director of business development, Mark is general superintendent in charge of quality and field operations and Eric is senior project manager.
“My dad was the kindest, most compassionate, most generous person I’ve ever met,” Rick Schmidt said, “and I think he is going to be missed not only by my family, but by the industry.”
Visitation will be held from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Monday in the Phillip Funeral Home, 1420 W. Paradise Dr., West Bend. A vigil will be at 8 p.m. in the funeral home. A memorial mass will be held at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday in Holy Angels Catholic Church, 138 N. 8th Ave., West Bend.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Kathy Hospice, 3232 Pleasant Valley Road, West Bend.