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Collyn Schmidt, 1924-2016

Collyn Schmidt


Collyn Franzenburg Schmidt, cherished friend who served Covenant College with deep care for more than 55 years, passed away on October 15, 2016.


Mrs. Schmidt attended Faith Theological Seminary in Delaware, in the late 1940s. After her time at Faith Seminary, she served for seven years as a missionary in Jordan, where she helped start a nursing school and worked in a tuberculosis hospital. In 1959, Mrs. Schmidt moved to St. Louis, where she married her husband, Rudolph “Rudy” Schmidt, and became Covenant College’s first dean of women.


In 1964, the Schmidts moved to Lookout Mountain with the College, and Mrs. Schmidt continued her service as dean of women, the College nurse, and in many other roles. Although she retired in 1991, Mrs. Schmidt remained a permanent member of the Covenant community and continued serving the College through word and deed for the rest of her life.


Mrs. Schmidt’s work did not stop at the doors of the College. She and Mr. Schmidt helped found New City Fellowship in Chattanooga, which started as Third Street Sunday school and where she remained a faithful member until her death.


“Aunt Collyn was a remarkable person who had a profound impact on the lives of generations of Covenant students,” said President Derek Halvorson. “From those who knew her as the dean of women in the earliest years of the College to those who have benefited from her warm hospitality and generosity of spirit in recent years, literally thousands of people point to Aunt Collyn as an exemplar for them of Christ-like living. She was gracious, earnest, loving, witty, humble, deeply committed to Jesus Christ and his truth, and spunky in the best possible way. We will miss her dearly.”


Mrs. Schmidt was preceded in death by her husband, Rudy Schmidt. She is survived by a thriving extended family. Although the Schmidts had no biological children, Mrs. Schmidt was affectionately known as “Aunt Collyn” by innumerable members of the Covenant community. She spent hours, days, and years mentoring young people, inviting students into her home for meals, boarding family members and other students in her home, and graciously sharing her life with people.


As the College mourns the loss of such an important member of the Covenant community, please share your memories here and rejoice in the good and faithful work God accomplished through his daughter, Collyn Schmidt.


Visitation will be from 4:00-8:00 p.m. on Tuesday, October 18, at Wann Funeral Home in Chattanooga, TN. A memorial service will be held at 1:00 p.m. on Wednesday, October 19, at New City Fellowship, with burial to follow in Forest Hills Cemetery.


In lieu of flowers, Collyn requested that gifts be made to New City Fellowship, Covenant College, and Covenant Seminary.