Robert Miles Schmidt, MD

Bay Side – Passed away April 10, 2020 at the age of 82 years. His parents were Albert C. and Margaret M. Schmidt. A brother, Butch, preceded him in death in 1986. Sally, his loving wife, passed on in July of 2017. He is survived by two sons, Andrew (Sara Katt) who resides in Colorado, and William (Jessica Costa) who lives in Los Angeles. Further survivors are his grandchildren Audrey, Ryan, Carter, Dylan and Emily. Close friends through the years were his sister-in-law, the late Mary Schmidt, and her children Mark Schmidt and Ruth Brook.

Dr. Schmidt attended Country Day School in Milwaukee, graduating from Yale University in 1960, and Cornell University Medical School (NYC) in 1964. His surgical training occurred at University Hospitals (Case-Western Reserve) in Cleveland, where he finished in 1972. From that time until his retirement in 2004, he was associated with the Milwaukee Medical Clinic, practicing at Columbia, St. Michael, and St. Mary’s Ozaukee Hospitals. Aside from serving on the Board of Directors of the Clinic, he chaired committees for Blue Cross – Blue Shield of Wisconsin, and directed the Surgical Review Committees at both Columbia and St. Michael Hospitals for many years. While in medical school and surgical training, his research endeavors resulted in seven published articles in medical journals, and additional comments were printed in the Letters Sections of the New England Journal of Medicine (euthanasia) and the New York Times (boutique doctors). He was Board Certified in Surgery, a member of the American College of Surgeons, and held an appointment of Assistant Clinical Professor in Surgery at the Medical College of Wisconsin. Through the years, Bob periodically utilized his surgical skills at home, suturing his son, neighborhood kids, and even his dog on the kitchen table.

Bob served on the YMCA Camping Services Board for many years. He was active as a youth hockey coach and participated in (not so competitive) Old Men’s Hockey until he was fifty years of age. He was a sports enthusiast, particularly enjoying tennis, skiing, ice skating and golf through the years. He was an active member of Tripoli Country Club for over 35 years and had many friends there. He also enjoyed traveling with Sally and visited five continents. Being a member of the Rotary Club of Milwaukee allowed him to stay in touch with what was going on outside of medicine. Memorable family events for him were trips Up North in the summer, ventures Out West on ski vacations, and family camping. His more enjoyable activities included the creativity of table and cabinet making, and the relaxation of riding his lawnmower. He often said, “The advantage of working with wood is that you could always start over again.” And he did, on occasion.

A Memorial Service will be planned for the future and a notice will be forthcoming.

Gifts in memory of Bob may be made to the Evans Scholar Foundation (college scholarships for caddies), One Briar Rd., Golf, IL 60029.

“Bob Schmidt, An Unadorned Man”
By Gill Thelan, a classmate of Bob’s at Milwaukee Country Day School

Bob Schmidt always had a plan. And the discipline to realize it.

MCDS played to his strengths. We were expected to stretch our brains in the classroom. (Think Harvey Raimaker and Bill Church.) And stretch our bodies athletically. (Think Ken Laird.)

Bob excelled. Grades just fine to get into Yale.

Check that box.

All-conference recognition as the quarterback who led the green and gold to an undefeated season in 1955. Not bad either in the hockey rink or on the tennis court.


Next, med school to become a doctor, like his father Al. Entered top-drawer Cornell Med, class of 1964.

Accomplishments there got him a prized general surgery residency in Cleveland.


Next step: return to Milwaukee and serve countless patients for more than 40 years, marry Sally along the way and raise two sons.


Bob never bragged about his successes. He knew how blessed our small generation was in opportunities to thrive in a much smaller world than what faced generations to come.

His dress was unadorned. His Fairy Chasm home was unpretentious. Ditto the furnishings. He was a modest lord of his domain, riding his tractor mower, sometimes comically, until close to the end of his life.

He was a Buick guy, not Lexus, BMW or Mercedes. He would penuriously run those GM land yachts into the ground. Hated seatbelts and never used them. (He really needed one of those bumper stickers announcing the driver as an “Obedience School Dropout.”)

His golf club was Tripoli, not Milwaukee Country Club. His golf swing was a version of his hockey slap shoot. Not pretty but effective.

His final commitment was to be care partner for Sally, who suffered a monstrous variant of Parkinson’s called Total System Atrophy. He delivered his love and devotion to her.

Bob was my quarterback, my classmate twice over and my friend. I loved him and told him so, to his discomfort. (I sensed his unspoken reciprocity.)

I will never forget him. And I’ll never drop one of his passes in our next place together.