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Florence E. Schmidt; Avid Gardener, Painter

April 24, 1997

Florence Ethel Schmidt of Camarillo, an avid gardener, painter and loving mother, died Tuesday. She was 89.

Born July 15, 1907, in Carpenter, S. D., she lived on a farm much of her life.

Trained as a beautician, she married Kenneth R. Schmidt after moving to Madison, Wis. The couple and their four children moved to Van Nuys in 1952.

Daughter Phyllis Doyon said her mother moved to Camarillo in 1982 to be closer to her two daughters. In doing so, she gave up her three-bedroom home and a yard full of rosebushes and other flowers for a one-bedroom apartment.

But at the age of 76, Schmidt took up painting in watercolor, transforming her love for gardening and landscaping to the easel. She won first place in the amateur division at the Ventura County Fair the first time she entered in 1984, Doyon said, and won several fair awards in subsequent years.

"I guess that was the farm girl in her," Doyon said. "She really did have a green thumb. If she wasn't planting something, she was painting something."

In addition to Doyon, Schmidt is survived by daughter Roberta "Bobbie" Thaxton of Camarillo; son Michael Schmidt of Reseda; sisters Hazel Beebe of Anoka, Minn., and Eve Lippolt and Fran Rodefeld, both of Madison, Wis. She also leaves 11 grandchildren and 19 great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her husband, and her son Allan Schmidt.

A viewing will be held from 5 to 9 p.m. today at Pierce Brothers Griffin Chapel in Camarillo, with services at 1 p.m. Friday. A graveside service will follow at Forest Lawn, Hollywood Hills.

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