Francis Michael Schmitz Jr., a retired Baltimore police officer who won several commendations, died of a heart attack Sept. 23 at St. Joseph Medical Center. The Essex resident was 73.
Born and raised in the Gardenville section of Baltimore, he attended St. Anthony of Padua Parochial School and Hamilton Junior High School. He served in the Navy in the late 1940s in the Mediterranean.
In 1956, he joined the Police Department and walked a Northeast Baltimore foot patrol. During his career, he received numerous commendations, including several for the capture and arrest of burglars working the Hamilton neighborhood. He also received a departmental letter of commendation for his role in 1975 subduing Joseph Fenwick, a mental patient who killed rookie Officer Timothy B. Ridenour at Uplands Apartments.
When Mr. Schmitz retired in 1983 because of a disability, he turned over his badge, No. 1170, to his son Frank M. Schmitz III, a Southeastern District Baltimore police officer who lives in Dundalk. A grandson, Michael F. Schmitz, also is a city police officer assigned to Southeastern.
Mr. Schmitz was a member of the Fraternal Order of Police Retirees, International Police Association and Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church Knights of Columbus, where he was a past grand knight and where a Mass of Christian burial was offered Saturday.
After retirement from the Police Department, he was the Cross Keys Inn security chief. He also drove a Baltimore County school bus for 10 years until he retired three years ago.
Survivors include his wife of 52 years, the former Helen Elizabeth Neifert; two other sons, Michael Schmitz Sr., a Baltimore County police officer who lives in Essex, and David Schmitz, a Baltimore County police detective who lives in Towson; a daughter, Patricia Anne Nicklow of Bowie; seven other grandchildren; and a great-granddaughter.
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