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Eileen Entel Schmidt

June 19, 1926 - Nov. 22, 2023

Eileen Entel Schmidt, longtime St. John resident, passed away Wednesday, November 22, 2023, at her home in St. John. She was 97. A private recitation of the rosary will be recited on Friday, December 15th, beginning at 10 a.m. at the Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church in St. John, followed by a private Mass at 10:30 a.m. The community is invited to join the family for a Celebration of Life potluck at the St. John Community Building around 11:30. Eileen will be laid to rest next to her husband, Elmer, at 2:30 p.m. in the St. Gall Cemetery, Colton, Washington.

She was born June 19, 1926, in Pullman, Washington, the oldest of four children, to William and Theresa Fleckenstein Entel. She grew up on the family farm between Colton and Uniontown and she graduated from the new Colton High School. Eileen worked as a secretary for Washington State College during the tail end of World War II. After he returned from the war, Eileen married Elmer Schmidt, also a Colton native, on April 25, 1946, and shortly thereafter moved to Corvallis, Oregon where he was enrolled in college. They lived in Portland, Oregon for a brief time before moving to Plaza, Washington in 1952. He farmed with his brother and Eileen kept very busy as a wife, mother and homemaker; raising a family that would eventually number seven children.

They moved to St. John in 1963 and together ran the Schmidt Insurance Agency for many years. Eileen found a variety of odd jobs and other things to do in the community over the years. She was a reporter and editor for many years for the St. John Advocate newspaper. She was secretary/treasurer for the Wheatland Grange and also at the Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church. She also belonged to the garden club in St. John. She spent lots of time quilting, gardening and canning. Each grandchild was gifted a special graduation quilt. Later on, she became an "international" traveler going on several trips with her siblings.

Elmer passed away in 1993 and Eileen sold the agency and retired around two years later. She continued to live independently in her own home until this last week when she passed away. She is survived by four children; Gene (Wendy) Schmidt, Spokane, LaVonne Grun (Dave McGonigal), Boise, Arlene Schmidt, Meridian, Idaho, and Joanne (Jerry) Hartman of Issaquah, Washington, and son-in-law Matthew Simek, Gig Harbor, Washington; 12 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren; her brother, Marvin Entel of Clarkston, Washington, and a sister, Audrey Guettinger of Wenatchee, Washington. In addition to her husband, she was preceded in death by three of her children, Sandra Schmidt, William Schmidt, and Teresa Simek; and by two grandchildren, Mark Simek and Jeff Grun, and a brother, Omar Entel.

The family suggests memorial gifts in her memory be to the St. John Fire Dept., Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church in St. John, or Teresa's Fund Endowment at On-line guest book is at

Corbeill Funeral Home in Colfax is caring for the family.


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