Sylvester "Wes" Schmid
December 31, 1921 - June 26, 2021

Of Wauwatosa. Age 99. Born into Eternal Life on Saturday, June 26, 2021. Beloved husband for 56 years of the late Julie (nee Snowhook, d2009). Dear father of Kathi (Randy) Otto, Rob (Kathryn) Schmid, and Mary (Hal) Hinderliter. Proud grandfather of Max (Lucas) Otterson, CJ Otto, Joe Schmid, and Ray Hinderliter. Further survived by other caring relatives and friends. Preceded in death by his brothers Arthur, Rob, Will and Dennis, son-in-law Steve Brown, other beloved in-laws, nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.

Wes was born in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, on December 31, 1921, the fourth of five boys born to Caroline (nee Nigl) and Alfred Schmid. His mother passed away when he was six years old, after which Wes and his brothers were brought up by several of his mother’s sisters, most importantly by their widowed Aunt Rose (nee Nigl) Miller, who had 10 children of her own.

Wes was just shy of 20 years old when Pearl Harbor was attacked by Japan. He first served stateside in 1942 as an MP (Military Police) in Indian Town Gap, Pennsylvania. He requested overseas duty and became an amphibious engineer attached to the 7th Infantry Division, participating in the invasion of Leyte, Philippines, in late 1944 and Okinawa, Japan, in 1945. After the war ended, he was assigned to occupation duty in Korea, returning to Oshkosh in December, 1945.

Wes attended college on the GI Bill, enrolling first at the Oshkosh Teacher’s College, followed by a year of college in Kentucky before earning his degree in Journalism at the University of Wisconsin – Madison.

Upon graduation, he began his career at Olson Publishing Company in Milwaukee, where he met Julie, who would become his wife. They married in 1953, and in 1956 they welcomed their first daughter, Kathi, followed by their son Rob in 1963, and youngest daughter Mary in 1967. Wes left Olson Publishing to start his own advertising agency, S. H. Schmid & Associates, where he worked until he retired at 85!

Early in his marriage to Julie, Wes met Paul Poberezny and joined EAA (Experimental Aircraft Association). He was an early member of EAA, and served 33 years on the Board of Directors. He also served on the board of the Antiques & Classics division, and held the position of Chairman of the Forums for 50 years at the annual Air Venture Convention in Oshkosh. EAA dedicated the Forums Headquarters in his name. In 2012, he was inducted into the EAA Hall of Fame, Homebuilders Division. To watch a short video about his involvement in EAA, please go to

Wes authored hundreds of articles for various EAA publications and authored or co-authored numerous books about air racing and home-built airplanes. Licensed as a pilot in 1963, he owned two airplanes and built one of them.

Despite increasing health issues as he aged, Wes lived independently in Wauwatosa, in the home he owned since 1961. He was adamant about his independence and was remarkably successful with that independence until one week before his death. He remained mentally sharp during his last days, including charming the hospital and hospice staff.

Wes Schmid was larger than life, and left a lasting imprint on everyone he met. Although he outlived most of his peers, he leaves a void in the lives of many generations that followed.

Visitation will be held on Thursday, July 1, at the funeral home from 4pm to 7pm. Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Friday, July 2, at 10:30am at St. Pius X Catholic Parish, 2506 N Wauwatosa Avenue (please meet at the church), followed by Interment at Wauwatosa Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorials to the Experimental Aircraft Association appreciated.




Thursday, July 01, 2021

4:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Schmidt & Bartelt Wauwatosa

10121 W North Ave.
Wauwatosa, WI 53226
Phone: (414) 774-5010

Mass of Christian Burial

Friday, July 02, 2021

10:30 AM

St. Pius X Catholic Church

2506 Wauwatosa Avenue
Wauwatosa , WI 53213
Phone: (414) 453-3875