He was born April 3, 1918 in Brooklyn, NY, son of the late Conrad C. and Thea (Deitz) Schmelz and loving husband of the late Lois Murray Schmelz. He attended Somerville public schools and graduated from Somerville High School in 1936 and graduated from Rutgers University in 1940 with a degree in Business Administration, where he enrolled as a member of the ROTC program there. Mr. Schmelz served in the Army Infantry through World War II until 1946 as a Captain in the Coast Artillery Corps, 572D anti-aircraft artillery weapons battalion (self-propelled). He joined the Central Europe and Rhineland campaigns through Normandy, served in Patton’s army, and was responsible for liberating several towns in France from Nazi German control. He received a Bronze Star Medal; the World War II Victory Medal; the European, Africa, Middle Eastern Theater Campaign Ribbon, and the American Theater Campaign Ribbon.
While residing in Somerville, he served as Director of the Army Draft Board in the 1960s. His entire employment was at the American Cyanamid Company, first in Bound Brook, NJ, and then Wayne, NJ. He began his career managing the warehouse and railroad operations, and was Senior Systems Analyst at the time of his retirement in 1983.
An active member of St. John’s Episcopal Church in Somerville and served on various groups, including the Vestry until age 90 and for many years he was involved with the Girl Scouts of America in the Rolling Hills Council, NJ. He assisted leaders Lois Schmelz and Dorothy Zoubek Hawley with Troup 1 activities, and participated in Council matters, including expediting building of the pool at Camp DeWitt in Hillsborough, NJ.
Mr. Schmelz began ballroom dancing in 2007 with Indigo Ballroom in Somerville where he enjoyed the social activity and won dancing competitions until age 90.
He is survived by his brother, Richard E. Schmelz, of Bonsall, CA; daughter, Lynne M. Schmelz, and son-in-law, Lar Kaufman, of Concord, MA; and grandchildren, Meghan M. Keil and Andrew F. Keil. A Memorial Service will be held at St. John’s Episcopal Church, 158 West High Street, Somerville, on Saturday, August 6th, at 11am. Friends and family are welcome.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be given to the Memorial Fund, St. John’s Episcopal Church, 158 W. High St., Somerville, NJ 08876