Lawrence A. SchmidMarch 11, 1928 ~ November 4, 2019 (age 91)
Dr. Lawrence A. Schmid, a Doctor of Theoretical Physics, of Greenbelt, MD, passed away peacefully, on November 4, 2019 at the age of 91. Lawrence was born in Philadelphia, PA to Walter and Mildred (Lawrence) Schmid and was the third of four children. Dr. Schmid graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, and went on to earn his Doctorate at Princeton University. Lawrence taught at Michigan State for a short time before joining NASA at Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt. Dr. Schmid, due to his contribution to the Apollo Lunar Landing in 1969, was awarded a citation of recognition by the Goddard Center Director. He was also involved with many other Space Flight missions.
During his time at NASA, Lawrence (Larry to many of his friends and some family members) met and married Ursula, the love of his life. She was originally from Berlin, Germany. They settled in Greenbelt where they resided for 46 years together until her death in 2008.
Lawrence was meticulous and detailed in all his activities, both professionally and personally. He mastered French and Russian, early in his career, to be able to read professional physics and mathematical documents. After he married Ursula, he also became fluent in German. Together they traveled extensively throughout Europe, (especially visiting family in Germany and Austria) as it meant so much to Ursula.
Until his late 80’s, Dr Schmid continued to do research to facilitate power generation using Nuclear Fusion.
Dr. Schmid’s passion for education (especially in the Physics Discipline) led him to establish a scholarship/mentoring program at University of Maryland to provide jobs for juniors and seniors in the Physics program to tutor incoming freshmen. He believed this mentoring activity would provide all these students a better understanding of the discipline while keeping them fully engaged in study of physics. His legacy will also establish the same type of programs at Penn and Princeton.
Lawrence was preceded in death by his loving wife of 46 years, Ursula (Hollwig) Schmid, his two sisters Edith Beck and Marjorie Schmid, and his brother Alan Schmid, and a niece and a nephew. His is survived by 11 nieces and nephews, whom his influence, wonderful sense of humor, and limitless wealth of information, has been a lifelong experience. Many of his grand nieces and nephews have also had the experience of knowing their “Uncle Lawrence”. He will be dearly missed by all.
A memorial service will be held January 11, 2020 at 11am at the Borgwardt Funeral Home, located at 4400 Powder Mill Rd., Beltsville, MD. A luncheon will follow the service.