Dr. Raymond C. Schmelter, Professor Emeritus from UW-Oshkosh, passed away peacefully in his sleep at Parkview Health Center, on July 31st, 2021.
He was born on November 14, 1926, the son of Hildegard (Jensen) Schmelter and Elmer Schmelter in New Holstein, WI. He is survived by his children: Mara (Steve) Marks, DePere, WI: Stacy Courtney, Appleton, WI: Raymond W. Schmelter, Oshkosh, WI. He is further survived by three grandchildren: Michael (Gracie) Schmelter Rapid City, SD, Marisa Marks, Madison, WI, and Lydia Courtney, Appleton, WI. and by four great grandchildren; Charlie, Colbe Curry, A’layjah and Santana. He is also survived by a brother, Donald, and many nieces and nephews. His wife Margaret (Peggy Curry) Schmelter, his parents and his sister Sallie preceded him in death.
Peggy and Raymond were married at the First Presbyterian Church in Kiel, WI on April 2, 1955. Raymond was a member of the First Presbyterian Church in Oshkosh, WI.
Raymond grew up in Brillion, WI and graduated from Brillion High School in 1944. He then enlisted in the Navy and served on active duty for 2 years. His active duty included serving at Farragut, ID, Port Hueneme, CA, and Terminal Island, CA. He was also a member of the American Legion Post of Wisconsin. After his discharge, he enrolled in the then Oshkosh Teachers College. While a student at Oshkosh, he played in the band under the direction of J.A. Breese, was a member of the Math Club, and a member of Alpha Phi Omega, a National Service Fraternity. He graduated in 1950 in secondary education with a mathematics major and minors in physics and English. After graduation he also became certified to teach in upper elementary grades.
His first teaching position was in Kiel, WI teaching 8th grade. While living in Kiel, he also was the cubmaster of the Kiel cub scout pack. After teaching in Kiel for 3 years, he moved to Racine, where he taught mathematics at McKinley Junior High School and also coached basketball.
He completed his MS degree in Educational Administration at UW Madison in 1957. In 1959 he accepted a position to teach mathematics at the Rose C. Swart Campus Laboratory School at the Wisconsin State College-Oshkosh. He received a National Science Foundation grant for the summer of 1962 to attend Teachers College Columbia University in New York to study mathematics. He completed his PHD in Curriculum and Instruction at UW Madison in 1969.
During his tenure at UW Oshkosh, he served on the Faculty Senate for approximately 20 years and served as its President in 1982-83. He served on the University Promotions Committee, the University Parking Committee, the University Athletics Committee, and was on the University Athletic Hall of Fame Committee. He was a life member of the UW Oshkosh Alumni Association and served on its Board of Directors for a number of years.
From the years 1970 to 1976 he served as Director of the Rose C. Swart Campus Laboratory School. Even though the school closed in 1976, he served as President of the National Association of Laboratory Schools in 1978-79. During the 1976-77 academic year he served as the Director of Field Experiences in the College of Education and Human Services. His teaching in the College of Education and Human Services included teaching methods courses in mathematics for both future elementary and secondary teachers and an introduction to computers course for experienced teachers. From 1987 until his retirement in 1993, he served as Chairperson of the Curriculum and Instruction Department. He served on many college committees, including the college promotions committee.
Dr. Schmelter was a member of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, the Wisconsin Mathematics Council, the Wisconsin Association for Middle Level Education, and Phi Delta Kappa. He served as a member of the Wisconsin Mathematics Council Board of Directors and made many presentations at the national and state levels. In 1984 he received the Distinguished Mathematics Educator Award from the Wisconsin Mathematics Council. He received an Award of Excellence from the State of Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction as the 1988 University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh Teacher Educator of the year. In 2000 he received an Alumni Anniversary Award from the UW Oshkosh Alumni Association. He served as a consultant to many school districts in the state of Wisconsin and had served on the Wisconsin School Evaluation Consortium for many school districts in the areas of mathematics and computers.
Dr. Schmelter loved to travel with his wife and children throughout the United States. Years ago, they tent camped in such places as the Black Hills in South Dakota, the Grand Tetons in Wyoming, the Rocky Mountains in Colorado, and the Smoky Mountains in North Carolina. They also spent time traveling to places like London, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington D.C., Niagara Falls, Las Vegas, Key West, Florida and New Orleans.
He was an avid fan of the UW Oshkosh Titans, the Wisconsin Badgers, the Green Bay Packers, the Milwaukee Braves and Brewers, and the Milwaukee Bucks. Many hours were also spent watching his grandson Michael participate in soccer, football, wrestling, tennis, baseball, and cross country.
A visitation will be from 10:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m. on Wednesday, August 4, 2021 at Seefeld Funeral Home followed by the committal service at Riverside Cemetery, Oshkosh, with military honors. In lieu of flowers, a memorial fund is being established in Dr. Schmelter’s name.
Our family would like to thank the staff of Parkview Heath Center for the loving, compassionate care given to Ray over the last 4 years, specifically Cheri, who brought meaningfulness and smiles to his days.