Obituary: Valerie Thirkell Schmidt | SierraSun.com
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Obituary: Valerie Thirkell Schmidt

Valerie Thirkell Schmidt
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In loving memory of Valerie Thirkell Schmidt who passed away on Monday, August 30, 2010, in San Mateo, CA after a yearlong battle and brave fight against lung cancer. She never lost her laugh and was dignified until the end. A memorial service will be held on Tuesday, Sept. 7, 2010, at 1 p.m. at the St. Paulandamp;#8217;s Episcopal Church, 415 El Camino Real in Burlingame.Valerie was born May 8th, 1943, in Burlingame, CA, to Howard and Bernice Thirkell. She attended Washington Elementary School, where she is best remembered as a YoYo champion and star tennis and softball player. Valerie also attended Burlingame Intermediate School and graduated from Burlingame High School in 1961. She then attended the University of Southern California where she met her husband of 30 years, Eric Clausen Schmidt, and played on the womenandamp;#8217;s tennis team. She also spent a year studying abroad in Vienna, Austria. They resided in Hillsborough for 26 years while raising their 2 children.Valerie was a lifetime member of the Peninsula Tennis Club and competed in the USTA National hard courts as a teenager. As an adult Valerie played competitive tennis for 20 years, before giving up the sport to golf. Valerie was a natural athlete, who became an avid golfer in the last 20 years of her life, during which she achieved 2 holes in one. She played golf on the Crystal Springs Womenandamp;#8217;s golf team and at Tahoe Donner. Valerie also loved to attend the S.F. Opera and was a season ticket holder for over 40 years. Valerie is also remembered for all the time and energy she gave to her church, St. Paulandamp;#8217;s Episcopal in Burlingame, where she was a lifelong parishioner.One of the great joys in Valerieandamp;#8217;s life was spending her summers in Lake Tahoe, of which she did for more than 55 years of her life. Valerie spent her early years playing tennis at Tahoe Tavern, going to dances at Meeks Bay, waterskiing, snow skiing and boating on the lake. In 1976, Valerie and her former husband bought their own home at Lake Tahoe, and enjoyed 21 years of boating, golfing, tennis, hiking and entertaining friends and family. Some of Valerieandamp;#8217;s closest friendships were formed while hiking and golfing at the lake. Valerieandamp;#8217;s sense of adventure and love of hiking inspired her to travel the world. Valerie visited over 90 countries in her lifetime. She hiked in some of the most remote places of the world learning about different cultures. She had a passion for travel and loved to learn about the socio-economic, political and religious differences that exist around the world.Valerie is survived by her brother Edward Thirkell, of San Carlos, and son, Alexis Clausen Schmidt and daughter-in-law Katie Koch Schmidt of Hillsborough, CA, and daughter Angela Schmidt Lindsay and son-in-law Alan Hunter Lindsay of Milton, Georgia. Valerie will be most missed by her cherished grandchildren Kayla, Malia, andamp; Clausen Schmidt and Owen, Logan andamp; Chloe Lindsay, who brought much happiness and laughter to her life.


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