Courtland Schmidt, 89, Was a Staff Surgeon at the UoM, Chairman of Surgery at the VA Hospital

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 05/18/2020 - 20:48

Courtland Mercer Schmidt MD, age 89 of Ann Arbor, died at home with his family on May 16, 2020, of complications following hip surgery in March of this year.

Born July 16, 1930, in Madison, Wisconsin, to Erwin Rudolph Schmidt MD and Mary Newlove Schmidt RN, he was educated at the Shattuck School (Minn.); Yale College, where he captained the heavyweight crew and was a member of the Berzelius Society; and the University of Pennsylvania Medical School.

In 1956 he married Inga Amelia Hilleboe and they moved to Ann Arbor for his surgical residency at the University of Michigan. Except for two years as a Captain in the U.S. Army Medical Corps, he spent his surgical career in Ann Arbor, first as staff surgeon at the U. of M., later as Chairman of Surgery at the Ann Arbor VA Hospital, and finally in private practice at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital. He provided skilled and compassionate care to thousands of patients, trained scores of surgical residents, and was known at the hospital for friendship and kindness to all.

He was a devoted husband, father, and grandfather, whose love of family was almost equaled by his love of fly-fishing, golden retrievers, martinis, opera, tennis, cooking, battered sailboats, and the New York Times. He spent time each year with extended family and lifelong friends on Llewellyn Beach, St. Joseph Island, Ontario; fishing the steelhead rivers of the Kispiox Valley, British Columbia; and on Don Pedro Island, Florida.

He is survived by his wife Inga, children Courtland Mercer Schmidt Jr. MD (Colleen Christian MD), Christopher Erwin Schmidt (Susan Moynihan), Peter Ochsner Schmidt (Jane Hamlin), and Amy Hilleboe Schmidt (Andrew McCuaig), as well as his beloved granddaughters Emma, Claire, Isabel, Abby (Ryland), Siobhan, Ivy, and Lida. His faithful dog Fiona also survives. He was preceded in death by his siblings Erwin R. Schmidt Jr. MD, Mary Allison Schmidt Wolf RN, and Margot Ochsner Schmidt Neuman, as well as by his dogs Flicka, Muffin, Britta, Jenny and Sayla.

He was a parishioner at St. Andrews Episcopal Church, Ann Arbor. Memorial services will be held at a later date in Ann Arbor and Ontario. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that contributions be made in his name to Trout Unlimited or the Democratic National Committee.

The family would like to thank the nursing and medical staff of St. Joseph Mercy Hospital Chelsea for their remarkable care and kindness. To sign Courtland’s guestbook, leave a memory or for more information, please visit

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