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Arlo E. Schmidt of Northwood, ND, passed away peacefully on November 30, 2022 at the Northwood Deaconess Health Center in his apartment with his two daughters at his side. Arlo previously lived and raised his family in Maddock, ND before relocating to Northwood. Arlo was 91 years old and enjoyed good health and spirits until the last couple of weeks when cancer finally brought him to the Lord’s doorstep. A Celebration of Life Service for Arlo Schmidt will be scheduled and announced in the spring of 2023 in Maddock, ND.
Arlo was born on September 6, 1931, to John and Amelia Schmidt in Cathay, ND. He graduated from Fessenden High School in 1949. While in high school, Arlo was active in FFA and a very good athlete in both football and basketball. He married Marion Finley on his 23rd birthday on September 6, 1953, at the Calvary Lutheran Church in Oberon, ND. Arlo frequently shared the story of their wedding ceremony when lightning struck the church and all the power went out. Arlo always claimed it was a sign from heaven of a blessed union, as he and Marion were married for 63 years.
Arlo was drafted in the US Army in 1953, served 18 months in Korea and was honorably discharged in 1956. Arlo was a past Commander and lifelong member of the American Legion Theodore A. Togstad in Maddock, ND. Arlo took advantage of the G.I. Bill benefits by attending the American School of Auctioneering in Iowa. He subsequently enjoyed a 55 year career as an auctioneer in central North Dakota and was inducted into the North Dakota Auctioneers Association Hall of Fame.
In his younger years, Arlo owned and trained racehorses and participated in races throughout North and South Dakota and spoke fondly of those times. After selling his horses to serve in the Army and begin his family, Arlo took up the hobby as a rodeo clown in local rodeos and parades for many years. He eventually hung up his clown attire to become an announcer at rodeos and many other public events. He was the first horse race announcer at the Wells County Fair in Fessenden during the years of pari-mutuel betting. In 1995 Arlo was elected to the North Dakota State Legislature and served the 7th District with distinction until 2010. He became a popular member of the Legislature and was well liked and respected by members of both parties while he worked tirelessly for the citizens of his District. Arlo was recognized for his successful efforts to curb Legislation that would have allowed corporate farming back into North Dakota. He was also honored for his work in supporting public education and to keep the Bank of North Dakota as a State institution.
After retiring from the State Legislature and putting away his auctioneer gavel, Arlo and his wife Marion enjoyed traveling to visit family and grandchildren. After Marion’s passing in 2017, Arlo took up clay beading as a hobby. He became very proficient at making bead necklaces of various sporting teams which were coveted by fans of NDSU, UND and the Minnesota Vikings.
Arlo is survived by his children; Paul (Megan) Schmidt of Washington, Mary (Gary) Peterson of Jamestown, ND, Lori Nelson of Northwood, ND, Corey (Diana) Schmidt of Hawaii, David (Vicki) Schmidt of Tennessee and Jon (Lori) Schmidt of Colorado; 14 grandchildren and 20 great grandchildren; brother Loren (Arlysis) Schmidt, ND, sister Margaret (Lloyd) Okland of IA, brother Allen (Barbara) Schmidt of ND, sister Kathy (Larry) Huennekens of FL, brother Lynn (Nancy) Schmidt of ND,
sister Amy (Ron) Lamm of ND and sister Beatty Stickland of ID.
Arlo was preceded in death by his wife Marion, parents John and Amelia Schmidt, sister Evelyn Ankrum, brother Robert Schmidt, sister Esther Simon, brother James Schmidt and sister JoAnn Harrison; son-in-law Mark Nelson and daughter-in-law Louise Schmidt.
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