Arnold J. Schmitter, Sr., passed away peacefully on December 31, 2020 at his home in Millington, MI surrounded by loved ones. He just celebrated his 85th birthday with his favorite chocolate cake and ice cream.
Born on December 20th, 1935, Arnold was one of 10 children to the late William Schmitter and Mable Secord Schmitter. In 1954, he graduated from Chesaning Union High School.
Racing was in Arnold’s blood. From Indy car to NASCAR. From motorcycles to snowmobiles. He travelled all over the United States to be in the stands for these races, year round. More than once, he convinced family to brave the freezing cold for hours to watch snowmobiles rip around the ice track in the Upper Peninsula.
Arnold started attending Otisville Assembly of God, now Vision Pointe AOG, where he developed a crush on the piano player Leona. After she flirted back, the two got hitched. In 2020, the two love birds celebrated their 39th anniversary.
Being active in the church, Arnold served as head usher and a deacon for many years. After returning from a cross-country vacation, the pastor commented “We were lost without you.”
After church on Sunday afternoons, Arnold cheered his NASCAR hero, Dale Earnhardt Senior, and crafted his famous homemade ice cream. Sunday evenings became ice cream socials with friends from the church. The ice cream must of tasted good because Arnold ran, unopposed, for a seat on the church board serving multiple terms.
Arnold worked hard, first at Buick City and then at Chevy Metal Fab in Flint. After 30 years, he retired. He and Leona moved to an undeveloped piece of land outside of Millington which they transformed into their dream oasis.
Taking off for that big race track in the sky, Arnold is forever loved by his wife Leona; his three children Florence Schmitter, Arnold J. Schmitter Jr. and Clifford Duvernois; his brother Floyd Schmitter and his wife Virginia; his sisters, Shirley Wadley and Doris Wilson; his nieces and nephews along with grandchildren and great grandchildren, many of whom adopted him as their grandpa.
To greet Arnold in heaven is his daughter Kathy Hessing and his son Roger Schmitter; his brothers Charles Schmitter and Albert Schmitter; his sisters, Violet Hilliker, Ruth Hammond, Helen Fowler, and Lily Simpson and his dog Clyde.
There will be a visitation for Arnold on Tuesday, January 5, 2021 at Hanlin Funeral Home from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. A “Celebration of Life” service will be held on Wednesday, January 6, 2021 at Vision Pointe Church in Otisville, Michigan beginning at 11:00 a.m. with a time of visiting before the service starting at 10:00 a.m.
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