Keith Edward Schmude, 84, passed away April 11 after a short illness. He was born February 10, 1934 in Rockford, IL to Albert and Ruth (Rifenberg) Schmude. After growing up in Kenosha, WI, he attended Carroll College in Waukesha, WI, where he met his future wife of 62 years, Helen Ann Harney. He went on to obtain his PhD from the University of Rochester and began his career as a teacher at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago before teaching at several other colleges in the Midwest.

Though he loved teaching, he left in 1964 to work for DuPont Laboratories in Kinston, NC to provide a more stable future for his family. After taking a transfer to Wilmington in 1968, he continued to work for DuPont at Chestnut Run until his retirement as a senior research chemist in 1992.

A polymath and lifelong scholar, after his early retirement, Keith made the most of the opportunity to enjoy his many interests. He and his wife traveled extensively, together and with their grandchildren. He returned to study and teaching with the University of Delaware’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute and became a Master Gardener. An avid music lover, from Wagner to Sinatra and the Beatles, he never ceased to enjoy listening to and learning about music and also turned to the study of history, Ancient Greek and genealogy. He shared an interest in the arts with his daughters, science with his granddaughters, and brewing with his grandson and grandson-in-law.

In addition to his continuing studies, Keith spent considerable time volunteering, as a docent at the Delaware Art Museum, with local charities, and as a gardener, handyman, and driver for many of his widowed friends and neighbors.

As much as he loved his many interests, there was nothing he loved more than his family, and there was little he would not do for them. He is survived by his wife; daughters Karen Ejzak (Richard) of Wheaton, IL, and LeeAnne Savoca (Frank) of Cherry Hill, NJ; grandchildren Larissa Ejzak Milicic (Jacob) of Madison, WI, Garrett Ejzak of Newark, DE, Emily Savoca of Alexandria, VA, and Ryan Savoca of Cherry Hill, NJ; his brother Rick Schmude (Maggie) of Lake Bluff, IL; nephews Rick and Randy Schmude and their families; and numerous friends, all of whom will miss him very much.

A memorial service will be held on Friday, May 4 at 1 pm at Concord Presbyterian Church, 1800 Fairfax Blvd. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Sunday Breakfast Mission, 110 N. Poplar St., Wilmington, DE 19801 or the charity you feel will honor his memory.