Epting Funeral Home

709 N. Walton, Bentonville, AR

Find it at: corner of Walton and College


Phone: 479-273-3443

Peter Smidt

Fayetteville, AR

1923 - 2017

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Published: December 27, 2017

Peter Wilm Smidt, age 94, passed away suddenly in his Fayetteville home on Tuesday, December 5. He was born in Ostfriesland, Germany on March 3, 1923. 

As a young child he immigrated to the United States with his parents Jasper and Berenje Smidt and settled on a farm in northern Iowa. During World War II, at the age of 20 years, he was deployed to the South Pacific where he remained for over 2 years, fighting in ground combat for the US Army in New Guinea, the Philippines, and the Japanese Occupation. During the Leyte Island operation in the Philippines, his unit, the 2nd Battalion, 19th Infantry Regiment, was cited for "conspicuous gallantry and the accomplishment of an extremely hazardous mission" by G.C. Marshall, the United States Secretary of War.

After returning home, he followed in his father's footsteps as a farmer. In 1946 he met Patricia Mittag. They were married on September 2, 1947, raising seven children on their farm in Iowa, instilling in each one the value of integrity, hard work and responsibility. He had to leave school after 9th grade to work on the family farm. Consequently, he was a strong advocate of quality education and academic achievements for his children and others as evidenced by his service on the Lakota school board. He was a devoted Christian who modeled a lifestyle of service and faith. He served as a deacon, Sunday School teacher, worker with the Okoboji Lakes Bible and Missionary Conference. He loved singing and was a Gideon speaker and distributor. He left farming in 1983 and began working with the Green Giant company in Blue Earth, Minnesota where he became a popular and well-respected supervisor.

He retired to Bella Vista in 1997 where he and his wife were active in the Evangelical Free Church. They later moved to Fayetteville where some of his best times were spent ushering Razorback football games.
Those who knew Peter were greatly influenced by him and will remember him as a man of strong character. He had the ability to make people laugh and smile as his humor, loyalty, kindness, and consistency endeared many to him.

He was preceded in death by his parents and brother, Bill. Survivors include his wife of 70 years Patricia, his children Jack (Carol Jo) of Buffalo Center, Iowa; David (Helen) of Spirit Lake, Iowa; Mark of Fayetteville; Mary Hillburg (Daryl) of Algona, Iowa; Lois Joy of Boone, Iowa; Phil (Jennifer) of Lynnwood, Washington; Jared (Laura) of Gig Harbor, Washington, 15 grandchildren, 12 great-grandchildren, his sister Jane of Buffalo Center, Iowa; and his well-loved Schnauzer, Sisi.
Burial with military honors will take place in the National Cemetery in Fayetteville on December 27, 2017. A private memorial service will follow.

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