Ms. Yolanda Evette Wright, age 58, of Rome, Ga. transitioned June 18, 2020. Graveside service for Ms. Wright will be private. F. K. Jones Funeral Home.
Mr. Leroy Bryant, age 88, of Augusta, Georgia, formerly of Rome, Georgia passed away on Tuesday, June 23, 2020 following a brief illness. Services will be announced at a later date. Wright Memorial Mortuary.
Werner Antonius Schmitz was born in Bergisch Gladbach, Germany, April 16th, 1935. He
was the second son of Lucia Maria “Lucie” Schmitz (b. Kelterbaum), and Anton “Toni”
As a youth, he distinguished himself as a disciplined and eager altar server, and soon
became head altar boy at St. Laurentius Catholic Church in Bergisch Gladbach.
At 16, Mr. Schmitz also began working for Kloeckner Humboldt Deutz. Little did he know
at the time what a huge role KHD would have in his life, and how important to KHD he
would become. While working full time, Mr. Schmitz also attended night school until he
completed his MBA. At 19, Mr. Schmitz agreed to work for Deutz USA in New York City.
He left behind his family, and took a leap of faith into the unknown.
He met his wife, Gina (also from Germany), in New York in 1957. They married in 1962,
in Dallas, Texas, where Gina and her parents had moved during the engagement. After
settling in NYC, the couple returned to Germany for a year at the behest of KHD. They
returned to the United States in 1967, just in time to welcome their daughter, Dagmar.
Deutz Corporation was moved from the city to Hicksville, NY, and in 1974 was relocated
to Doraville, GA. At that time, Mr. Schmitz was also named president of Deutz USA,
having previously served as marketing sales manager and vice president among other
things. He also served as head of Deutz in North America, and in The Americas at various
points during his tenure with the company. In 1986, Schmitz was named CEO in addition
to being president. He served in this dual capacity until his retirement in 2000, at which
point he had worked for Deutz for forty-nine years. KHD holds various patents, including
that for air-cooled internal combustion engines. When Schmitz came to the US, KHD sold
a handful of its Diesel engines here. By the time he retired in 2000, routine sales
exceeded 50,000, annually.
Throughout his career, Schmitz clocked endless flight and travel hours, visiting colleagues
and clients. His associates became friends, and all with whom he worked appreciated
him as abundantly fair, knowledgeable, worldly, and of incomparable intelligence.
His ability to relay stories and tell jokes made him popular with friends and associates. He
had a story or a joke for every situation, and even managed to keep these fresh. He was a
lover of classical music, a passion he shared with his mother. He read many books, and
as long as his mother was alive, he wrote to her every Sunday. When he moved his family
to Stone Mountain, Georgia, he and Gina took up tennis. They played on ALTA teams for
years, and enjoyed tennis on their beach vacations, as well. A nod to Gina’s love of
dance, Werner pursued ballroom dancing with her. (He had even prepared for their
wedding dance in secret.)
For many years, they, along with friends, supported the Society
for the Appreciation of Big Bands, regularly enjoying SABB dances.
Family meant more than anything to Werner. He adored his wife, and was devoted to her,
to his daughter, his son-in-law and his grandchildren. Having been a heavy smoker when
Dagmar was growing up, she implored him to stop smoking – so he could live to see his
grandchildren. He was a living testament to the healing that can take place once
cigarettes are abandoned, and he enjoyed nearly 25 years of grandparent joy.
Werner and Gina were active in Corpus Christi Catholic Church in Stone Mountain from
1974-2000, and in St. Benedict Catholic Church in Johns Creek since. They quietly
support(ed) their churches and various charities with regularity, also sponsoring numerous
children through World Vision International. In addition to his ability to tell great stories
and jokes, Werner was incredibly knowledgeable. He loved languages, and could make
himself understood in several. His knowledge of classical music was encyclopedic, and
save for sports and pop culture, he could have easily held his own on Jeopardy. His family
referred to him as a walking encyclopedia, and were often subjected to impromptu
quizzes followed by detailed explanations. He overcame many injuries, and cancer.
Once, after an extensive 10-hour back surgery, he cycled through Italian, French, German,
Spanish, and English as he attempted to rid himself of the fog of anesthesia. He did, and
later had no recollection of the event.
He was strong, he was stubborn, and he was full of love. He was exacting, demanding,
and supportive. He was a magnificent man, an excellent provider, and a big softy –
especially as a lover of cats. He was gentle, nurturing, and had high standards for
everything. Many benefitted from his excellent tutelage. If you loved Werner Schmitz,
you also knew what it meant to be loved by him.
Werner Antonius Schmitz passed on Sunday morning, May 17th,
2020. He was preceded in death by his parents, Toni Schmitz (1969), Lucie Schmitz
(1984); his brother Helmut (1987), and his sister-in-law Anneliese (2005). He is survived
by his wife Gina (b. Antwerber), of Duluth, GA; daughter Dagmar D. Schmitz Carlton,
son-in-law David Carlton, grandchildren Alexandra, Nicholas, and Isabella Carlton, of
A funeral mass will take place on Saturday, August 29th at 11am, in hopes that more of
Werner’s friends will be able to attend. This will be at his home church, St. Benedict
Catholic Church in Johns Creek, Georgia. A reception follows.
Inurnment will take place at a later time at St. Mary’s Catholic Church Columbarium, in Rome, Georgia.
In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to World Vision International, or to the
Humane Society of the United States.