Ettie Schmidt


Ettie Schmidt


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Ettie Schmidt, 89, of Billings, died peacefully at her home on Wednesday, May 31, 2006.

Born November 8, 1916, Brooklyn, NY to Russian immigrants, Charna (Jenny) and William Zamos, Ettie lived there until age 25, graduating high school and completing a professional beauty academy. She became a proficient make-up artist and scalp and skin care specialist. Ettie moved to Los Angeles in 1941. During World War II she worked for Douglas Aircraft. After the War and after having her children, she returned to work as a beauty consultant for top cosmetic firms, including Elizabeth Arden, for more than 20 years.

During the War, Ettie met and married Edward Guthals, a soldier at the time. Married for 17 years, they had three children. After they divorced, she found herself a single mother with major responsibilities. She was very proud that all of her children graduated college and received graduate degrees.

In 1980, after retiring due to her health, Ettie moved from L.A. to Billings to be near her son and daughter-in-law so they could care for her. She became an integral part of their family and the Billings community, enjoying her grandchildren, and joining many community organizations. Ettie helped found Self-Help for Hard of Hearing. Ettie was a long time member of Congregation Beth Aaron and was happy to be alive to see the dedication of the new Temple. During her years in Billings, Ettie made many friends, touched many lives and helped many persons in need.

In 1990, at age 74, Ettie fell in love with and married Charles O. (“Ollie”) Schmidt, who was the most romantic, caring, charming and sweetest man that she had known. They had five short but happy years together before he died in 1995.

Ettie was interested in politics, loved to shop, read, garden and study Judaism. She was an advocate of social justice and equal opportunity. She was a fine writer, and the best parts of this obituary are her work. Ettie was an avid fan of the Dodgers, Lakers, and PGA golf. The weekends were often spent with her family watching sports events.


Ettie’s life was stormy and interesting, full of challenges, good times, hard times, and too many illnesses—part of the great generation that survived the Crash and the Depression and won the War. Through it all she was an indominatable force always pushing herself and her family and friends forward. She was a “lady”, in the best way, with immaculate dress, lovely hair and complexion, proper speech, and a warm and dignified manner.


Ettie is survived by son, Joel Guthals and his wife, Ann, of Billings, their children Jennifer and Joshua; son Dennis Guthals, of Thousand Oaks, CA, his children Austin and Adrian; daughter, Lisa Ball and her husband, Mike, of Glendale, CA. Her family meant the most to her, and she wanted this said: “Her children were born to give her all the love, care and fun times a mother could want. They never let her be sad, feel alone and took care of her when she was ill. When her grandchildren were born, her world exploded with joy. Her grandchildren were beautiful, intelligent and knew how much their Grandma loved and cherished them.”

Ettie’s second family was Dr. Uri and Liz Barnea and their children Avital and Jonathan. They often invited her to their home and showed her kindness and affection. Ettie adored the Barneas and her role as Avital’s Godmother.

Ettie was preceded in death by her parents, brothers, Cy and Joe, sister, Sue, grandson, Jasper, and husband, Ollie. The loss of Joe, killed on Iwo Jima, was one of her biggest tragedies.

Ettie wanted to thank: Dr. Metzger, Dr. Myers, the nurses and staff of St. Vincent Health Care and Rocky Mountain Hospice, her loving home care providers Donna Calvert and Diane Horton, Ellen Knight and Vera Schaff, who helped her so much during the last two years, the many friends who visited her, and her devoted hearing dog, Kuro.

Memorial service to be conducted by Dr. Barnea at Temple Beth Aaron, 2031 Broadwater Ave., Monday, June 19, 2006, at 3:00 p.m.

Ettie loved flowers and dressing up for special occasions. Remembering her this way would be welcome at the service. Memorials may be made to International Hearing Dog Inc., 5901 E. 89th Ave., Henderson, CO 80640.


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