Genevieve Cowan Schmidt, “Jennie”, (age 99) of Oklahoma City, OK, passed away on September 22, 2019. She was born in Okemah, OK, on July 25, 1920 to Hattie E. Wilson and Leonard C. Cowan. Her paternal grandparents were Clara and John Luther Cowan of Okemah; her maternal grandparents were Sarah and Bailey Wilson. She lived her childhood years on her grandfather’s farm in Okemah. Her teenage years were in Bartlesville, OK, and Jennie graduated from Bartlesville High School in 1938. At the end of WWII, while living in Dallas, TX and working for American Airlines, she met her future husband, Harold C. Schmidt (“Smitty”) who also was working for American at that time. They were married on New Year’s Eve, 1946 and enjoyed 61 years of marriage until Harold’s passing in June, 2008.
Jennie and Harold lived the first 18 years of their marriage in Port Arthur, TX. Jennie was a stay-at-home Mom while they raised their daughter, Donna Gail, in Port Arthur until she graduated from high school. During those years, the family was faithful members of The Methodist Temple in downtown Port Arthur. Jennie was also active in Camp Fire Girls, PTA, the Port Arthur garden club, bridge club, and she and Harold always looked forward to their monthly dance party with the “Revelers” dance club. During that time, Harold was working for Mrs.Tucker’s/Anderson Clayton Foods, and in the summer of 1965 the company transferred the family to San Jose, CA. Daughter, Donna Gail, returned to Ft. Worth, TX and was a student at Texas Christian University. Harold and Jennie loved California and all it had to offer in wonderful climate, food, recreation and a beautiful year-round flower garden surrounding their home. They made new friends easily, and Jennie flourished by becoming a volunteer for the Santa Clara County American Red Cross. She enjoyed the Red Cross experience so much, that she eventually secured the staff position of Director of Volunteers. The job required traveling throughout Santa Clara County, training volunteers and Jennie always had many fond memories of these Red Cross adventures.
In 1974/75, Anderson Clayton transferred Harold to Oklahoma City. Although Jennie was sad to leave her home, friends and job in San Jose, she looked forward to being in Oklahoma again and close to her aging relatives. They made a comfortable home for themselves in OKC and soon joined the Church of the Servant United Methodist Church. Harold and Jennie both became volunteers in the Church and made many good friends there. They always made time for fun traveling to Daytona Beach with Harold’s Texarkana school friends. And annual reunions of the WWII 351st Bomb Group were never missed. They spent the remainder of their lives in Oklahoma City.
We are thankful and most appreciative for the dedicated and compassionate caregivers at The Lakes Care Center during these last years of Jennie’s life. And, to Crossroads Hospice & Palliative Care who provided her comforting attention and care at the end stages of life. Jennie is predeceased by her husband, Harold. She is survived by her daughter, Donna Gail Laski who lives in Dallas, TX. There will be a viewing at Vondel Smith Mortuary North in Oklahoma City on Wednesday, Sept. 25th from 4:00pm to 8:00pm. A service on Thursday, Sept. 26th at 11:00am will be held in the chapel at Resurrection Cemetery (7800 NW Expressway, Oklahoma City, 73132).
In lieu of flowers, a charitable gift in Jennie’s name to your local American Red Cross will be greatly appreciated, or to the Church of the Servant in Oklahoma City (14343 North MacArthur Blvd, Oklahoma City, 73142).