Gerald "Jerry" Schmitz
December 26, 1935 - August 25, 2021
Gerald (Jerry) Schmitz, the long-time Administrator of Data Systems for the Executive Department of the State of Oregon, passed away on August 25, the 65th anniversary of his wedding to dear wife, Carmen. Governor Tom McCall recruited him to the position in 1974, and he thereafter oversaw the State's computer systems under four more governors -- Bob Straub, Vic Atiyeh, Neil Goldschmidt, and Barbara Roberts.
He was born in Portland, on December 26, 1935, growing up in the Laurelhurst neighborhood. His father was a U.S. Treasury agent, which led the family to Puerto Rico and Chevy Chase, MD, where he attended Gonzaga Prep School in Washington, D.C. When the family moved to San Mateo, California, he attended both Serra and San Mateo High Schools, where he met Carmen, while performing in the Gilbert and Sullivan musical, The Gondoliers. He graduated from UC Berkeley with a BS in Business Administration, having married Carmen in his senior year.
After a data processing career at Lenkurt Electric in San Carlos, he moved his growing family to Corvallis, Oregon, where he oversaw data processing for the State's higher education system. From there he moved to Salem to oversee the State's systems. He retired in 1994, having transitioned the computer systems to the modern era.
A dedicated "Beaver" fan, he saw all four of his children -- Cari, Steve, Patti, and Bob -- graduate from Oregon State University. So far, five grandchildren are also graduates of OSU. He enjoyed many happy days in retirement with Carmen, their children, their families, and their extended families.
He is survived by his brother Fred (Linda) Schmitz, and his sister Pam (Fred) Tavernier, as well as children Cari (David) Shaneyfelt, Steve (Kathy) Schmitz, Patti (Tal) Johnson, and Bob (Nancy) Schmitz, along with 16 grandchildren and eight great-grandsons. His sister Patricia Taylor predeceased him last year.
The family extends special thanks and gratitude to Jerry's caregivers.
A funeral mass will be held at 10 a.m. on Thursday, September 2, at St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Salem.
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