Jerry V. Schmits, 74, passed away on Feb. 19. He was a beloved husband, father, grandfather, brother and friend.

A stickler for shiny shoes and neatly cropped haircuts, Jerry served two years in the U.S. Army and then 28 years in the U.S. Army Reserve, retiring as a lieutenant colonel.

He was quick with a smile and as quick to enjoy a hearty laugh. Often teased for his frugality and precise punctuality, he filled his free time by refinishing furniture, tending roses, reading mysteries, and playing cards or dominoes with friends and family.

He also enjoyed annual trips to the Indy 500 and Indiana University football games.

Jerry earned a civil engineering degree from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in 1959. A licensed professional engineer, he worked for Feigel, J.H. Rudolph, Koester Companies and, most recently, his own consulting firm.

He was a 1955 graduate of Fort Branch High School. He was a member of the Knights of Columbus and Christ the King Catholic Church

A past president of the Freedom Festival, Jerry particularly enjoyed the festival's parade.

He served on the board of Burdette Park and was a member of the Knights of Columbus Council 565 and the ROA, Reserve Officers Association.

He served as a volunteer for Life Choices and the Operating Engineers Apprenticeship Program.

Survivors include his wife of 45 years, Mary Elaine (Weber) Schmits; daughters Jen Thomas (John) of Indianapolis and Laura Noe (Jeff) of Louisville; and son Joe of Nashville, Tenn., as well as grandchildren Eliot, Ian, Sarah, Ella and Benjamin, and many nieces and nephews. Brothers are Bill (Annette) of Boonville, Richie (Phyllis) of Fort Branch and Johnnie of Elberfeld.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Victor and Helen Schmits of Fort Branch.

Visitation will be from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 22 at Ziemer Funeral Home East Chapel, 800 S. Hebron Ave., Evansville. Visitation will continue Wednesday at the church from 9:30 a.m. until service time.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at Christ the King Catholic Church, 3010 E. Chandler Ave., Evansville, on Wed., Feb. 23 at 10 a.m. with Msgr. Kenneth Knapp officiating.