Verla Lorraine Schmidt, age 87, of Stratford passed away peacefully with her family by her side at the Stratford General Hospital on April 8, 2022. Born in Woodstock, Ontario, she was the youngest daughter of the late Douglas and Alberta (Dixon) Wheatley. 

Verla was predeceased by her parents, her husband William Henry Schmidt, her sister Phyllis Douglas, her brother-in-law Robert Douglas, and her mother-in-law and father-in-law Eva Beirnes and Henry Schmidt. 

Verla is survived by her children Shirley Sippel (Paul), Lorraine Copas (Jason), Gail Schmidt, and William Schmidt. She is the beloved grandmother of Jonathan Sippel, Milusha Copas, and Kaitlin, Nicole and Aaron Moore. 

Born as a New Year’s baby, Verla lived a long and rich life, endearing herself to everybody she met. At age 17 she attended Stratford Teacher’s College and taught in one-room schoolhouses in Collingwood and Gadshill Ontario. It was in Gadshill that she met her future husband when he helped her get her car out of a snowbank. 

After marrying, Verla left her teaching career to work alongside her beloved for the next 20 years at the family garage and service station in Gadshill. She raised four children along the way, mastered tire repair and learned the basics of accounting and fixing internal combustion engines. 

Verla and her family were St. Peter’s Lutheran Church members in Gadshill. Although she was not active in church life, she had a spiritual side and unshakable faith that worked well to guide her through life’s perils. 

In 1976 the family moved to Stratford and soon after, Verla embraced the computer revolution and reinvented herself as an income tax preparer and a bookkeeper for small businesses. 

Verla was generous with her time and attention and never lost her flair for teaching. She freely tutored children in schoolwork and consulted with adults about income tax, accounting, and life’s vagaries. Verla was a good friend to many people and a devoted mother who was always present to listen and wisely advise. She will be sorely missed. 

The family would like to thank the staff at Greenwood Court for the love and care they showed to Verla in her final months. Sincere thanks also to Reverend Patricia Jackson for the love and support she showed to Verla over many years and in Verla’s final days. Finally, the family would like to thank the nursing staff on the Medical floor at Stratford General Hospital and Drs. Lussier, Vergara and Schultz for the excellent and compassionate care and counsel that they provided. 

Visitation will be at the W.G. Young Funeral Home, 430 Huron Street, Stratford on Saturday, April 23, from 6-8 p.m. and on Sunday, April 24, from 1 p.m. until the time of the funeral service at 2 p.m. Interment at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church Cemetery, Gadshill. As expressions of sympathy, memorial donations may be made to the Stratford General Hospital Foundation through the funeral home. 519.271.7411 www.wgyoungfuneralhome.com

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