SCHMIDT, LEO WALTER (10 Dec. 1896-17 June 1993) forged a 2nd career as a banker after more than 30 years as a successful builder. A native Clevelander, he was the son of Walter and Martha Schmidt. He left school at 13 to fill a variety of jobs before starting his own plumbing business at 19. The following year he formed the Leo W. Schmidt Construction Co., which built the CUYAHOGA HTS. city hall and high school as well as hundreds of homes on the city's southeast side.
Schmidt married the former Salomea Nowak in 1917, and in 1928 they moved to GARFIELD HTS., where they lived for nearly 50 years.
Elected a director of the old Warsaw Savings & Loan Assoc. in 1925, Schmidt turned his construction business over to his sons after assuming the bank's presidency in 1949. Under his guidance Warsaw Savings became United Savings in 1952, increased its assets from $5.5 million to $334 million, and opened 10 branch offices. Schmidt later served as chairman of the institution until its merger into the TRANSOHIO SAVINGS BANK in 1980. He had also served as president of the Northeastern Ohio Savings & Loan League.
Though largely self-educated, he received an honorary doctorate from Alliance College. Schmidt moved to INDEPENDENCE in 1974 and died in ST. ALEXIS HOSPITAL MEDICAL CTR. Buried in All Souls Cemetery, he was survived by 2 sons, Ernest and Arnold.