2009-03-14 / Obituaries

William Joseph Schmeltze

William Joseph Schmeltzer, age 69, Mayor of Somerset, died of cancer at 3:40 p.m. Monday, March 9, 2009.

Bill was born February 22, 1940, in Somerset, the son of the late A.L. and Mary Gordon Schmeltzer.

He retired from the U.S. Air Force after 20 years of service in 1981 where he served in Korea and Okinawa. He served his later years at Andrews Air Force Base. He was assigned as Flight Chief of the Military Security Force, Physical Security Branch, Security Division, Directorate of Administrative Services Organization of the Joint Chiefs of Staff where he guarded Air Force One for Presidents Nixon and Ford. He retired as a Tech Sergeant. After retirement, he moved his family back to Somerset and was owner and operator of Buckeye Auto Sales in Lancaster. He was later a partner at Dick's Sales and Service in Somerset.

Bill was a member of Holy Trinity Catholic Church where he and Rita were caretakers of the cemetery, a member of Somerset American Legion Leo Ryan Post 58 and the American Legion 40 and 8. He served as mayor of Somerset from 1996 until his death. He served his community in many anonymous and significant ways. Some memorable projects were the Somerset Courthouse Restoration, the Bicentennial Celebration, the Somerset Pumpkin Show, and the restoration of the Phillip H. Sheridan Statue.

Surviving are his wife, Rita Snider Schmeltzer of the home; two daughters, Melissa Schmeltzer of Somerset and Melinda (Jason) Lewis of Kernersville, NC; three grandsons, Dylan, Jake, and Cooper Lewis; four sisters, Madeline Takas, Sister Mary Lois Schmeltzer O.P., Fran Orr and Eloise Krumlauf; and two brothers, Michael and Edmund Schmeltzer.

In addition to his parents; he was preceded in death by four sisters, Juanita Cline, Elizabeth Heyman, Rita Keller, and Audrey Hicks.

Friends may call from 2-4 and 6-8 p.m. Thursday, March 12, 2009, at the Bope-Thomas Funeral Home in Somerset. Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11:00 a.m. Friday, March 13, 2009 at Holy Trinity Catholic Church with Father Stephen Carmody O.P. as celebrant. Burial will be in Holy Trinity Catholic Cemetery. Full military honors will be provided by the Somerset American Legion Leo Ryan Post 58.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Somerset Court- house Restoration Fund, 403 1.2 North Drive, Somerset, Ohio 43783.

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