Dr. John Frederick Schmedtje, Anatomist, Professor Emeritus, beloved husband, father, and grandfather passed away at the age of 89 in Indianapolis, IN on March 20, 2009. He was born in St. Louis, MO on July 9, 1919. He was the son of the late Emma Hoppe Schmedtje and Adolph Henry Schmedtje and was the grandson of the late Johanna Busch Schmedtje and Johannes Stephen Schmedtje. He was raised in St. Louis, Mexico City and New York City and received a Bachelor's degree from Columbia University in 1941. John served in the U.S. Army and was a WWII veteran. During this time he was trained in electroencephalography at Walter Reed Hospital in Washington D.C.
After his military servie, he studied at Rutgers University and received his Ph.D. in Anatomy and Zoology in 1951. As a Professor, he served on the faculty of the medical schools of St. Louis University, Harvard University, Tufts University and Indiana University in the course of 40 years as a teacher of Microscopic and Gross Anatomy to two generations of medical students. He was head of the Histology Department at Indiana University Medical School.
He was predeceased by his daughter, Laura Lee Schmedtje Chave, grandson, James Frederick Schmedtje, and sisters, Elsa Schmedtje Rathemacher and Lucille Schmedtje Little. He leaves behind his loving wife of 52 years, Winifred Marie Zucchero Schmedtje, his son, John Frederick Schmedtje Jr. and daughter-in-law Emily Evans Dille Schmedtje of Roanoke, VA, his daughter, Diane Marie Schmedtje Stewart and son-in-law James Robert Stewart of Indianapolis, and grandchildren, Emily Maria Stewart, Henry David Stewart, Evans Johanna Schmedtje, Helen Kirk Schmedtje, and Ashlea Lauren Chave.
The Tufts University Dental School Class of 1968 described Professor Schmedtje with these words: "A great teacher, scholar, and gentleman, his students have benefited from his dramatic slide shows, subtle wit, and his philosophical insight into the peripheral aspects of life." Throughout his life, John loved to study and write about science and the mechanism of cell differatiation.
He was an avid reader and continued to pursue knowledge all of his life. He appreciated art and drew cartoons for family and friends. John enjoyed to be with his family. He always had something interesting to say, was a good listener and could entertain all with his anecdotes and quotes. He was a great conversationalist and guided people through life's pathways with wit and wisdom. Among his favorite quotes were, 'Everyday in every way we are getting better and better' and 'nobility obliges.' He will be remembered with heartfelt love and memoires by those he left behind.
Visitation will be Thursday, March 26 from 5 to 7 p.m. at Harry W. Moore Funeral Care, 8151 Allisonville Rd, Indianapolis. Mass of Christian Burial will be held at Our Lady of the Pillar Catholic Church, 401 S. Lindbergh Blvd, St. Louis, MO on Saturday, March 28 at 10 a.m. He will be laid to rest at Calvary Cemetery.
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