Eva Schmidt LCDR USCG (Ret)
COTB November 1st 2007
We Mourn Our Losses
We Celebrate Their Legacy
We regret to inform you that Eva Schmidt passed away November 1st 2007. Carolyn Thomas her niece said she always had her friends in the BSPAV in her thoughts. Eva was one of eleven remaining Spars from WWII. All who knew her will dearly miss Eva.
Eva’s Sister’s address is:
6298 101st Ave NW
White Earth, ND 58794
Eva Schmidt, 88, White Earth, died Thursday, Nov. 1, 2007 in a Minot nursing home.
Eva was born August 1, 1919 to Johan and Kirsten (Knudson) Moller at her mothers homestead 10 miles south of White Earth, ND. She was the first of the family to have a licensed midwife at her birth.
Like many others in the area, her family only spoke Norwegian at home. She couldn’t wait to start school, so she could learn to speak English like her sisters and brother. She attended the Hansen School near her home until fourth grade when she transferred to the White Earth School. She had many happy memories of her years there and enjoyed the school reunions.
Drought and the “Dirty Thirties” forced the Mollers to relocate to Minneapolis in 1938. Here Eva worked as a nanny, a housemaid for 25 cents an hour, and a bellhop at a root beer stand.
She attended several schools, including a radio school where she was heard on the air as a simple-minded woman named “Leena”, and accordion school where she learned to play the accordion, which she enjoyed doing for the rest of her life.
Eva could hardly wait to join the service when WWII began. She went to enlist in the Navy in July 1943, but was intercepted by a woman who encouraged her to join the Coast Guard. The Coast Guard had begun a unit for women called SPARS ( Semper Paratus, Always Ready). She says “I became a SPARS by accident and remained until SPARS was disbanded in 1946.” Of the 10,000 women that joined SPARS in WWII, Eva was one of only 11 remaining survivors in 2007.
She attended the University of Washington from 1947-1954 on the G.I. Bill, graduating with BA Degree with a major in Norwegian. In 1953, Eva was one of 50 out of 13,000 students that received an award for outstanding scholarship. She continued to work towards a Masters
Degree in Scandinavian language and literature.
During her time in Seattle, Eva attended Charm School, learned modeling, and advanced sewing; where she learned to sew many of her own clothes.
When SPARS opened the program again, she reenlisted “to put food on the table”, and was the first woman to enlist in the 13th Coast Guard District since WWII. She became the first SPAR Commanding Officer since WWII and was one of only two people to achieve that position.
From 1957-1968, she taught fourth grade in an elementary school in Phoenix, Arizona. As much she loved the Arizona climate, she couldn’t resist returning home to White Earth, ND when she retired.
She was an active member of First Lutheran Church in White Earth, and the American Legion where she served as its chaplain for many different occasions.
She belonged to the Sons of Norway, where she enjoyed helping to organize many events. Her “Lefsa Lady” character was requested at many gatherings. Many will remember her with the fly swatter, a “roll away” rolling pin, the lefsa stick as a back scratcher and her floured face. She actually made decent lefsa in spite of her Lefsa Lady image, even making lefsa aboard a Coast Guard cutter in Ketchikan, Alaska when she was part of the Bering Sea Patrol.
Eva was very interested in politics and was a candidate for the ND House of Representatives from District II in 1980. She loved cats and had many cats living at her farm.
In 1980, Eva wrote “ I am enjoying an active retirement on a farm in North Dakota, a few miles from where I was born and raised and where I hope to live until called to final duty”.
Survivors: sister: Helen A. Monson, White Earth, ND
Nieces and nephews: Nels A. Moller, Jr., White Earth, Marc (Linda) Tellevik, Blaine, Mn; Geri H. (Dennis) Day, Oroville, Ca, Richard A.(Rose) Monson, Junction, City, Oregon; Janet E. (David) Andersen, Middleton, Wisconsin and Carolyn A. (Griff) Thomas, The Dalles, Oregon, and numerous great and great-great nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her parents, brothers Nels A. Moller and Sigurd A. Moller, sister Liv Tellevik and husbands John Stockman, Harold Schmidt, and Kenneth Kleven
Funeral Services: Wednesday, November 7, 2007 @ 11:00 am at First Lutheran Church, White Earth
Visitation: Tuesday 10-6 @ Springan Funeral Home
Burial: Kristiansand Cemetery, White Earth