Otto K. Schmied, 101, city school supervisor

November 17, 1992|By Staff Report

Otto K. Schmied, a retired supervisor of modern languages for Baltimore's public schools and a founder and 31-year president of the Maryland Scholastic Association, died Saturday in the Care Center of the Charlestown Retirement Community.

Mr. Schmied, who was 101, was being treated at the care center for a broken right hip and shoulder that he suffered in a fall Oct. 19.

Services were to be conducted at noon today at St. Matthew's United Church of Christ, 3400 Norman Ave., where he had been active as a member and teacher for more than 80 years.

He had moved in June to the Catonsville retirement community from his home on Windemere Avenue, 1 1/2 blocks east of Memorial Stadium -- the first house on that street when Mr. Schmied had it built in 1937.

He had attended baseball games at the stadium until reaching his mid-90s and drove a Volkswagen bug until he was 97.

O. K. Schmied was honored in June as a special guest at the 60th anniversary reunion of Forest Park High School's Class of '32 -- where surviving students, well into their 70s, shared vivid memories of their beloved teacher.

At Charlestown, he was rarely able to leave the dining room without being approached by former students who wanted to talk to him, according to his wife.

He retired as a supervisor in 1962 after teaching at Forest Park High School, where he had also been head of the modern language department since it opened in 1924.

Born in Wisconsin, Mr. Schmied moved to Baltimore with his family as a young child.

He was a 1909 graduate of City College -- where he began his career teaching German, French and Spanish after graduating from the Johns Hopkins University in 1913. He also studied law at night at the University of Maryland, passing the state bar exam in 1916 but never entering into practice, and did graduate work at Hopkins and at McGill University in Montreal.

From 1924 until 1939, he was principal of the old Evening High School at City.

In 1915, he helped organize an athletic council to take over management of sports at City, which was invited to the 1919 meeting at which the Maryland Scholastic Association was founded. Mr. Schmied was elected president of the MSA in 1922 and held the office until 1953.

Until this year, the MSA governed boys sports for city public schools and area private and parochial schools. The city public schools left the MSA, effective this winter, to join a state organization.

In 1911, he started a men's Bible class at St. Matthew's Church, which he taught until moving to Charlestown.

At the church, he also was a former president of the young people's organization, Sunday School superintendent and a representative to the denomination's Chesapeake Association.

A former president of the Baltimore Retired Teachers Association, he also helped to organize the Over 60 Counseling and Employment Service, where he was a volunteer counselor. His honors included election to the City College Hall of Fame and the naming of a room in his honor at St. Matthew's Church.

His first wife, the former Lydia Mehl, died in 1958.

He is survived by his wife of 31 years, the former Eunice Bowers, retired supervisor of math for city junior highs; a son, William C. Schmied of Richmond, Va.; eight grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren.

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