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It is with great sorrow that we announce the passing of Katharine Leigh Schmidt on January 10, 2021 at the age of 59, after a brave fight with ovarian cancer. She died peacefully with her family at her side.
She will be lovingly remembered by her husband, Fred Schmidt; her son Matthew Schmidt (Kara) grandson, Nolan; her daughter, Heather Tempelman (Alex); and daughter Kaleigh Schmidt. Kathy will be deeply missed by her parents, Robert and Dell Wilkins, her brother Mike Wilkins (Pam) and their children; and the family of her late sister Faith (deceased 2005) as well in-laws Karen Barnes and Werner Schmidt and their families.
Born in Hamilton, Ontario, on August 2 1961, she was the oldest of three children. She attended the University of Waterloo and worked as a Kinesiologist in Southern Ontario until moving to Thunder Bay in 1991 with her husband.
Central to her life was her love and trust in God. She was a woman of strong faith who continually desired to place her Lord Jesus Christ at the centre of all activities. This was most evident as she undertook cancer treatment. She embraced the verse “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” (2 Corinthians 12:9). Kathy was an active member of Fort William Baptist Church and tried, in all things, to live out her faith with grace and a wish to bless every life that she touched. She sacrificially gave to others at all times and relished all opportunities to entertain friends and family. It was a joy for Kathy to care for and nurture people and was ever ready to help a friend or stranger in need.
After her three children reached school age, Kathy started an active music studio teaching hundreds of children piano and music theory up until her diagnosis of cancer. She loved music, in particular jazz, and was contagious in spreading this joy to many of her students. Kathy was also active in promoting high standards in music excellence through the Ontario Registered Music Teachers Association, coordinating the Thunder Bay Music Festival for many years, and brought the National Federation of Music Festivals event to Thunder Bay in 2006.
Kathy was a person of many exceptional talents. She was an avid sports enthusiast, gardener, quilter, photographer, and water colour artist. She had a warm spot for any friendly dog or cat and loved the outdoors with a passion. She took every opportunity to bike, camp, hike, or ski. Kathy was also an outstanding athlete competing in the 100 metre hurdles on a national level and trained with the Canadian National Track and Field team during her late teens and early 20s. She loved attending her children’s sporting events and was always the most fervent fan.
Due to the current gathering restrictions, a celebration of life will be virtually live streamed through Fort William Baptist Church (1800 Moodie Street) on Tuesday January 19, 2021 at 11 a.m.
In lieu of flowers, if friends so desire, memorial donations to the Thunder Bay Regional Northern Cancer Fund would be greatly appreciated.
Online condolences may be made through