On April 12, 2018, Sister Mary Michel Schmitt gave back to God her life of 93 years. Born Rita Jean, she was the youngest of eleven children born to Joseph and Beatrice (Schoen) Schmitt.
Born in Sandusky, Rita grew up in Toledo and attended Blessed Sacrament School and Notre Dame Academy. She began her formal training as a Sister of Notre Dame in January 1943. Later that year she was invested in the habit of the Sisters of Notre Dame and received the name Sister Mary Michel.
With degrees in Education and Special Education from Mary Manse College and St. Louis University, Sister was a highly effective educator for 60 years as teacher and principal at St. Mary, Gesu, Ladyfield, and Mary Immaculate schools in Toledo; Sacred Heart, Fremont; St. Mary, Leipsic; St. Paul, Norwalk; St. Wendelin, Fostoria; and St. John, Delphos. In 1960 Sister Michel was the first principal and the only teacher when Mary Immaculate School began to teach children with exceptional learning styles. As principal eleven years and teacher for seven more years, Sister helped many children feel comfortable and positive about their abilities. Sister’s latest teaching assignment was her teaching and tutoring at St. John School, Delphos from 1984-2007.
Preceding her in death were her parents and her siblings, Reginald, John, Dorothy Gedert, Marjorie Kerste, Veronica Stemple, Beatrice Antener, Elizabeth King, Michael, and Robert. She is survived by one sister Mary Heferle and many nieces and nephews and the Sisters of Notre Dame in the Toledo Province.
Visitation will be at the Sisters of Notre Dame Center at 5900 Davis Road, Whitehouse, Ohio on Monday, April 16 from 3-5:00. The sharing of memories will be at 5:00, with the funeral Mass following at 7:00 p.m. Burial will be Tuesday at 9:30 in Resurrection Cemetery.
Arrangements are entrusted to the Urbanski Funeral Home, A Life Celebration Home, 5055 Secor Rd, Toledo, OH. Any tributes may be made to the Sisters of Notre Dame at 3912 Sunforest Court, Toledo, OH 43623.