REMEMBERING FRIENDS DR. JOE VOEGTLIN & FR. MICHAEL SCHMITT

REMEMBERING FRIENDS DR. JOE VOEGTLIN & FR. MICHAEL SCHMITT

Dr. Joseph Voegtlin MD was born in Seattle in 1926. He died in Skagit County on November 5, 2011. He was my long time friend and family physician until his retirement in 1992. Voegtlin, joeHe graduated from the University  of Washington in 1954 with  honors. He was instrumental in opening the hospital in Mount Vernon where he served as Chief of Staff and Chief of Surgery.

 Joe had a gift for diagnosing problems and was a skillful surgeon as well. He was a great medical expert witness and testified frequently for me in cases involving  his patients. His testifying greatness was in making the complex simple while standing at the paper board drawing while talking to the jury.  We conducted seminars together and lectured at legal seminars. I learned a great deal from this brilliant physician. His practice was very large and his friends  many.

My friend, Rev. Michael Schmitt, was born in Port Angeles in 1930 and died, at age 58, on November 10, 1987 in a headon auto collision near Auburn, Washington. At the time, he was pastor at St Patrick's Catholic Church in Tacoma. He was on his way to meet with several other priest friends who were going hiking together in Eastern SchmittWashington. He died instantly when the  other car crossed the center line. That driver escaped with bruises.

Michael graduated from Roosevelt High School in Port Angeles in 1947 and from the University of Washington in 1951 with a degree in journalism. He spent two years  in the Air Force and after working briefly for newspapers entered St Edwards Minor Seminary in 1954. He was ordained in 1960. I first met him at St Martins College in Olympia where he was taking classes preparatory to entering the seminary. I was also taking the classes , exploring a possible vocation. Later, he was  assigned to the Catholic Church in Mount Vernon where we were living. We spent a lot of time with he and his friend Fr. Thomas Vandenberg.

He had a quick and wonderful sense of humor and was kind man. He was a joy to be with and had many friends.  I am honored to have known him. I am in contact from time to time with Fr. Vandenberg.

Here's to two people who contributed much to this world and are missed.

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