After a 10 year battle with Dementia and Alzheimer’s, Judith B. Szmidt, passed away late on March 31st. Born in Fugad, Transylvania, on June 19, 1922 to parents Janos and Berta Bene of Kesmarki, Hungary. Judy grew up on the family farm with her sister and parents. She attended the Young Ladies Institute in Szatmar and the school of Fine Arts in Marosvasarhely.
When the Nazi’s invaded and took over their family home, she and her mother fled to Austria. She fought for her life throughout WWII and earned a wartime nursing degree. She met and married Adam Szmidt in July of 1945 in a relocation camp in Markt Pongau Austria. She would never see her mother again. While awaiting immigration visas to the United States, the young couple lived in Italy and Great Britain until 1951.
When they came to America in 1951 with their young sons Leszek and Julian, she spoke 6 languages fluently. Judy’s aunt, in St. Helena, California, sponsored the young family. Upon arrival the family came to St. Helena and began working for Aunt Lenke at her Madrones Resort. She and Adam worked hard and created a nice little American family. They started their own business, Adam Szmidt TV, and lived the American dream in Napa, California.
Judy volunteered to work in all of her children’s activities. From Boy Scouts to Swimming she and Adam were the model of involvement. Judy was past president of the Napa chapters of The Spokes, and Soroptomist International. Judy was a life member of United States Swimming, Napa Swim Club, Spokes, and Soroptomist International. She received the Phillips Petroleum volunteer of the year award in 1988 for her work with United States Swimming. In 1994 she was named Woman of the Year by Women in Swimming.
She loved to paint and garden. Her home was full of her art work and the yard was always beautiful and bountiful.
Judy is survived by her sons Leszek Szmidt and Andrew Szmidt, their spouses Lana Steen Szmidt and Jeanne Lentz Szmidt, 8 grandchildren (Ondrejka Yaconelli, Jedidiah Szmidt, Zaid Szmidt, Leszek Szmidt, Heather Middleton, Alex Szmidt, Gabrielle Szmidt, Madison Szmidt) and another 8 great grandchildren (Wilder Yaconelli, Easton Yaconelli, Zander Szmidt, Dominic Szmidt, Oliver Szmidt, Hailey Szmidt, Zofia Szmidt, Emilia MIddleton).
Preceded in death by Adam M Szmidt 11/29/2001 and Julian Alexander Szmidt 10/31/2011
The family has decided to hold a private memorial at a later date.
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