Elrine Koepp Schmidt went home to be with the Lord on June 5, 2020, just 13 days before her 70th Wedding Anniversary.
Elrine was born March 28, 1932 to Otto and Anna Koepp in Clear Springs. It was there she was raised on the family farm while speaking only German. She attended Clear Springs School her first two grades. It was during this time she learned to speak English. The school was closed when there were too few children to keep the doors open. She then rode a school bus and attended Carl Schurz School in New Braunfels and later New Braunfels High School. She often spoke of the unbridled joy she felt when she heard on the family radio that WWII had ended. She ran across the fields to tell her parents the war was over and her brother would be coming home! When she was a young teenager her parents sold the farm and they moved into town. Elrine enjoyed working in sales and cashiering at Vollmar’s Five & Dime Store while in high school.
She met her life’s love, Archie Schmidt, when she was just 13 at an Echo Hall dance. He flirted by throwing spitballs at her. They soon became teenage sweethearts. They married 5 years later on June 18, 1950. One week later the Korean War broke out. Archie joined the Air Force and served the duration of the war stationed at Luke AFB in Arizona. Elrine was able to join him there and gave birth to daughter Patti in 1953. Archie received his discharge in 1955 and moved the family back to their new home in Comal off FM 482.
Daughter Cindy was born in 1958. Elrine cherished being the mother of her two daughters. She spent much of her life being an extremely happy homemaker. She possessed extraordinary sewing talent and sewed most all of the girls’ wardrobe, be it every day or special occasions. Many times she would laugh hysterically while dancing to lively Jitterbug music with her very entertaining daughters.
When Archie began his career with the FAA he was sent to the Aeronautical Center in Oklahoma City. His young family joined him, but soon discovered the close proximity of so many tornadoes was not for them. They returned back to Comal just in time for Patti to start the first grade.
Elrine was blessed with four wonderful grandchildren. She sometimes babysat all four at once and was glad to do so. After they were too old to babysit, she did volunteer work at Kirkwood Manor for 11 years, and later, with husband Archie, at the S.O.S. Food Bank for nine more.
After 35 years living in Comal, they sold their home and built in the Pleasant Valley Estates off FM 2722.
All of their neighbors soon became their family. She was embarrassed, but a little thrilled, when she was referred to as their “Classy” neighbor.
Elrine took much pride in her German heritage. She often quipped German expressions without realizing it. “Baumwolle pflücken Kinder” (cotton pickin’ kids) & “Ich habe Kopfschmerzen” (I have a headache) just to name a couple. She was a lifetime member of First Protestant Church. She won many a blue ribbon for her baked goods at the County Fair. She mastered the difficult art of smocking during her tenure as an expert seamstress at Cater Frock Company which specialized in manufacturing young girls’ dresses. Each family member could count on Elrine to create for them a thoughtful, colorful and memorable birthday card each year. Oh, how she loved her gardening, but hated the weeds! They didn’t have a chance to grow in her immaculate yard. She was meticulous about filling her hummingbird feeders twice daily. She had so many hummingbirds in her garden and she knew they relied on her. Surprisingly to some, her biggest passion was working and designing with the native hill country jagged limestone rocks. Every tree and bush around the house is perfectly encircled with near matching rocks. Every pathway, sidewalk and stone wall is symmetrical and flawlessly inset as if done by a skilled stone mason. She used her trusty yardstick to keep things downright perfect. She would spend countless hours hunting and scavenging for just the right rock at each predetermined location. When they were too big to carry in her arms or her bucket to the worksite, she would go to the tractor barn and get the big moving dolly to transfer and place her treasured rocks. This from a lady 5’1’’ in stature and no more than 110 lbs.! No doubt she could have improved Stonehenge if she had been on the payroll during its construction.
Elrine is preceded in death by her parents, her sister Toska, brothers Marvin & Reno, sisters-in-law Erna & Virginia Koepp and son-in-law Edgar Westbrook.
She is survived by husband Archie, daughter Patti Hardy and husband Leroy, daughter Cindy and husband Keith. Grandchildren Christine Martinez and husband Mark, Corey Westbrook and wife Kathy, Danielle Hetland and husband Robbie, Kristin Miracle and husband Kenny. Also nine great grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.
Public visitation will be from 4:00 – 7:00 Wednesday, June 10 at Doeppenschmidts Funeral Home.
Due to Covid 19 restrictions, there will be a private family service and burial on Thursday.
Donations in Elrine’s memory may be made to First Protestant Church @ 172 W. Coll Street, New Braunfels, TX, 78130.