August 23, 2013

Lois Parsons Schmidt

WESTPORT — Lois Parsons Schmidt, wife of Camp Dudley's former director, Willie Schmidt, passed away Saturday, Jan. 19, 2013, in La Jolla, Calif. She was born Feb. 5, 1932, in Buffalo, the daughter of John T. "Jack" Parsons and Frances Oakes Parsons. She graduated from Sharon High School, Sharon, Mass. and Medical College of Virginia, Richmond.

Lois and Willie married in 1954, and Lois worked as a physical therapist while Willie completed his education at The University of North Carolina. His teaching career took them to the Tilton School in New Hampshire and Wayland Academy in Wisconsin. Happily, they moved to Westport in 1974. Lois worked as a physical therapist at hospitals in Philadelphia, Chapel Hill, Laconia, N.H., Beaver Dam, Wisc., Elizabethtown, and Asheville, N.C. Her most rewarding work was with children, the elderly, and the severely disabled.

For more than two decades at Camp Dudley, Willie and Lois were an inseparable partnership, finding and offering thousands of kids camp scholarships, including many children of the North Country. Lois was also among the first supporters of Dudley's sister camp, Camp Kiniya, in Colchester, Vt., and she highly valued Kiniya's leadership program and the time spent with her granddaughters who attended camp each summer.

Lois was a member of St. Philip Neri Church, in Westport, and a proud volunteer at the Westport Heritage House. She brought optimism, calm, patience and friendship to every person she met. Lois managed to find a kind thing to say about everyone. Her contributions to the wellbeing of Camp Dudley and the Westport community are incalculable. She has, without doubt, left her world a much better place than she found it.

Lois was predeceased by her husband of 54 years, Willie Schmidt. She leaves her five children and their spouses, nine grandchildren, as well as her sister, Kay Parsons Eckler. A memorial service will be held at The Camp Dudley Chapel at 10 a.m. Sunday, August 25, in Westport.

Those who wish to remember Lois in a special way are asked to consider a contribution to the Willie Schmidt Scholarship Fund, Camp Dudley, Westport, NY, 12993 or online at

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