A special creative spirit came into the Schmoldt family on May 11, 1989 in Takoma Park. He spent 10 years of bringing great joy into his immediate and extended family. He had cousins that whenever they got together he became the ringleader of the group. They loved to do plays together and the props often came from his backpack. Curiosity and creativity were the hallmarks of his spirit. He had the ability to create something out of almost nothing. Most children would expect their parents to buy them what they wanted, but not Alan. He could create what he wanted out of whatever materials he could discover. One of his favorite things at our house was to pull down the attic and get up and see what new piece of material he could use to make something. His greatest joys were in the things he made. Whether it was a pokemon, a bow and an arrow, a sling shot, or the borrowers belt filled with treasures patterned after the Borrowers movie or his batman capes or mask. He just loved to make costumes.
Our trees were always tied up with strings to make his batman cave. He spent lots of time playing there. He also loved playing in his Uncle Terry’s truck and coincidentally they both passed on at the same time. We never knew what he carried around in his backpack and fanny pack but we knew lately that he had pokemon balls in there.
We have had raspberries next to our neighbor’s fence for many years. Alan loved to go and pick them. He was the only child we knew who would choose to eat whole cucumbers, raw green peppers without taking the seeds out, and celery off the stock. He was also happy when we were his flavored ice suppliers. He and his aunt loved popcorn together. He especially loved whenever we had any fruits or vegetables and watermelon was his favorite. His favorite places to go out to eat were McDonald’s, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut.
When he was younger he always had his pass case for the amusement park around his neck carrying his money. One summer he dug a lot of dandelions in our yard to buy things from there. He worked hard digging out those dandelions and counting them to get his 1-cent a weed reward.
During the last few years the Schmoldt family had season passes at Six Flags Amusement Park and its predecessor. Alan loved going on the rides and being in the water. This summer the family went on a trip to New Jersey’s Six Flags and he really enjoyed the Safari excursion. He wanted to pet the llama but when it made a funny face he decided against it. He became very brave when he fed the monkeys on the car.
A year ago he discovered rock climbing at the Renaissance Fair and he was told he had to do the easier one this year, but when it turned out to be a piece of cake for him they let him do a harder climb. Every time he went to Six Flags he wanted to do that rock climb and was saving his money to do it.
Over the years pets have been very important to the family. They have had Princess and Samantha the cats, the rabbits K.D. and Tiger, the fish, and hamsters Popcorn, Patches and Midnight and wow have those hamsters had adventures.
When Alan was 8 he started Cub Scouts and he loved it dearly. He especially liked the creative parts like making the Pinewood Derby car that he took to the races at Beltway Plaza. He didn’t win but he didn’t care he was just glad to have the chance to run it and be in the race.
His desire was to keep on that scouting trail until he became an Eagle Scout.
At one time his dad adopted the professional name of C the clown where he did shows for child parties and did some magic tricks. This got Alan into magic and he liked to show off his new magic tricks. He also enjoyed the videos that his family collected. They were into old G movies of the past and he loved to bring them over to let us watch.
Lately he has enjoyed old TV show videos and his latest was Bewitched, I Dream of Jeannie and Petticoat Junction. His favorite current TV shows were Pokemon, Power Rangers, Scooby Do, Magic School Bus and Big, Bad Beatleborgs. We used to wonder why when he was so active he could sit and watch a movie or TV show and never move a muscle. When he was diagnosed as having attention deficit disorder it all began to make sense.
He always had so much energy that he frustrated his teachers both at school and at church and often even his family. He learned to accept that he had some problems even telling his mother a year ago that he wanted to take his medication when he went to Iowa so he wouldn’t get lost. As his family we often ask him if he had taken his medication because he was always so hyper. He was difficult to teach because he wasn’t always focused on the lesson on hand or in doing his homework, but his mind was always busy and some big creation was probably in the works.
Schoolwork was a challenge and learning to read was very difficult. He finally was beginning to feel joy in reading and was very excited about reading the Box Car Mysteries. He found out I was giving reading incentives in my class and wanted the same thing. I agreed and last week he saw me and told me I owed him something. He was very excited and was reading a lot.
He had many interests and loved to learn and knew about many kinds of things. One of his first interests was dinosaurs and the Jurassic Park video brought him many hours of pleasure. He could fold paper into the most elaborate origami creations including paper airplanes. Recently a teacher at school asked me if I knew how to make an origami crane. I said no but knew someone that could and told her about my nephew. I called him on the phone and on Sunday he brought me a crane he had made and a couple books to take to her. This teacher was very touched by his generosity. She gave me a card with a crane and said although she didn’t know my nephew personally, yet he touched she and her daughter because took the time to do something for someone he had never met. She was deeply touched.
Alan touched all of us. He was always concerned about others and wanting to help them or to play with them. This summer he had saved some money and chose to buy things for his cousins with it. Often he would talk to anyone who would listen, but he always had something of value to say. Music has always been important to the Schmoldt family and Alan struggled through playing an instrument but singing brought him great joy since he loved to sing. He knew all the Primary songs by heart and sang them with great gusto. He loved his CTR Ring. CTR stands for Choose the Right. Alan tried to choose the right. He loved church not only for the gospel principles that were taught there but because he wanted to do the things that Heavenly Father and Jesus would want him to do.
Before he was baptized a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints he would look at his ring and think about what CTR meant and looked forward to it with great excitement. His grandma LaVon Kinnest talked about Nauvoo where she grew up and joining the church and some of the experiences they had living in a little branch that was struggling.
Alan loved the trips to Iowa to visit his dad’s family and going to see the church sites there. He looked forward to going on a mission. When he was baptized, Brecken Swartz, a member of his ward, wrote in his baptismal book about the Sesquicentennial celebration that year of the Pioneers going into the Salt Lake Valley. The stake theme for the road shows was related to the Pioneers. During the road show performance, Brecken sat next to him and at one point Alan turned to her and delivered a long and very serious address about what a difficult task it was for the pioneers. She said he was so knowledgeable for a 7-year-old, but the thing that struck her the most was his seriousness. It was clear that he really cared. Brecken’s younger sister was sitting behind her and since she wasn’t a member of the church this was her first time in an LDS Chapel. Ever since that time she said “the thing I remember most about your church was Alan Schmoldt. What a missionary.
Continuing to quote Brecken she said that he would make a great missionary. She said that it was rare for her to have such a strong feeling about a child that she did not know well but she felt that Alan had an extremely special spirit.
She continued that Alan was sent here for a very important purpose, and it would take him some time to figure out what it was. It was important for him to be born into the Schmoldt family because they loved him so very much and would teach him some very key principles. She continued to write to him that both of his parents worked very hard to support him and are very tremendously strong people, and that he should learn from them to be strong and never let any obstacles stand in his way. She concluded by saying he was put here to be a missionary and his testimony will affect many people.
Thank you Brecken for letting me share this with others here today. LaVon said, “He’s probably up in heaven saying, This is really cool.”
Alan has completed his mission here and has new heights to climb, new things to create and new places to be. We who are left behind will have memories of how he has touched us. We will miss him and the part he has played in our lives.
As a family both immediate and extended we are grateful for having him for a time. Alan, I am sure you are here today listening to this and I want you to know how much you have meant to me and to all of us. Go on Alibug, create, make heaven a better place to be. I know you are happy.
We love you.
Aunt Ilene, Uncle Terry, and Sharla.