Mary Ellen Schmidt Profile Photo
1925 Mary 2023

Mary Ellen Schmidt

August 13, 1925 — May 25, 2023


Mary was born in Portland, Oregon on August 13, 1925 to Gladys Mae and John
Nicholas Brill. Named after her maternal grandmother, Mary, and her paternal
grandmother, Ellen, she was the youngest of four siblings. Her brother, Jack, couldn’t
pronounce Mary, so he called her “May”, which she answered to for the rest of her life.
Our mom lived through the Great Depression which shaped her into a resilient person
and a survivor. She often said that her family managed during that time because her
father raised vegetables, chickens and bees on his few acres of property in Sylvan.
She was a creative child who loved nature, reading, horses and cats-especially white
cats! As a teen, she oil painted, played girl’s softball and excelled in cooking.
In 1946 she married our father, Donald Schmidt, and proceeded to have the three of
us. She eventually worked at St. Vincent’s Hospital as a nurses aid and retired as a
Ward Secretary after 32 years.
Mom always kept her youthful spirit and loved our friends. Our house became the
neighborhood “hub” where everyone was welcomed and accepted. So many of our
peers remember her taking us swimming, water skiing, hiking, and clamming at
Seaside. She had a lot of energy and a zest for life!
She was the resident “fashionista” at Sellwood Senior Living and was so vibrant that
it was hard for everyone to believe that her heart finally gave out after 97 years.
Her greatest achievement was being a wonderful mother and though we’ll miss her,
we’re happy that her earthly bonds have been lifted and she’s resting in God’s eternal
She is survived by her daughter, Cynthia Petrarca (Mike); her son, Greg Schmidt
(JoLynn); and her daughter, Susan Ridgway (Gordon) plus four grandsons and six great

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Mary Ellen Schmidt, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Memorial Service

Tuesday, June 13, 2023

12:30 - 1:30 pm (Pacific time)

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