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John Schmidt
John Schmidt (Baltimore Sun)

John H. Schmidt, a retired Lucent Technologies manager who served for nearly four decades with the Maryland Air National Guard, died March 20 at Howard County General Hospital of heart failure. He was 80.

The son of Walter Schmidt, a roofer, and Elizabeth Huddle Schmidt, a homemaker, John Huddle Schmidt was born in Baltimore and raised on East 25th Street.

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He was a 1954 graduate of City College and earned a bachelor's degree in 1966 from what is now Loyola University Maryland.

Mr. Schmidt went to work in 1957 at the old Western Electric Co. Point Breeze Works, where he was manager of its undersea cable operation.

He later moved with American Telephone & Telegraph to Washington, where he was the Federal Emergency Management Agency's national account manager.

At the time of his retirement in 1989, Mr. Schmidt was working for Lucent Technologies.

Mr. Schmidt enlisted in 1953 in the Maryland Air National Guard's 104th Fighter Squadron, which was based at the old Harbor Field. By the 1960s, he was the noncommissioned officer in charge of the squadron's Air Police Section.

Through the years, he served in several security positions until being named assistant director of command security. He attained the rank of lieutenant colonel, which was his rank at his retirement in 1989.

During his years with the Maryland Air National Guard, he studied at the Air Command and Staff College, Air War College and the USAF Air University.

After retiring, Mr. Schmidt was a consultant with L&E Associates Inc., an Oxon Hill telecommunications firm, where he was an executive vice president and a senior program director, overseeing government telecommunications and facilities contracts.

A resident of Clarksville for more than 30 years, he was a member of the Telephone Pioneers of America and American Legion Post 300 in Columbia.

Graveside services will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday at St. Joseph Cemetery, 8420 Belair Road, Fullerton.

Mr. Schmidt is survived by his wife of 58 years, the former Barbara M. Wilson; and a daughter, Deborah Schmidt of New York City. Another daughter, Nancy Schmidt, died in 2001.

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