Cheshire - (203)272-7209 | Naugatuck - (203) 729-2253 | Waterbury - (203)753-5112
Obituary of Bogislav von Schmeling
CHESHIRE- Dr. Bogislav (Bo) von Schmeling, 93, passed away, Thursday, January 25, 2018 at his residence surrounded by his loving family. He was the devoted husband of Margret (Kind) von Schmeling to whom he was married for 62 years.
He was born March 11, 1924 in Pomerania, Germany, son of the late Gustav and Gisela (von Gentil de Lavallade) von Schmeling. As a farm boy growing up in Germany’s “bread basket” region, Bo was fascinated by the mechanisms that made plants grow. It was a fascination that eventually turned into a lifelong career.
At age 18, Bo was drafted into WWII and sent to the Eastern Front. His leadership and bravery in combat led to officer school where he became a lieutenant at age 20. He was then sent to the Western Front where he survived the Battle of the Bulge as a Panzer tank battalion lieutenant.
After the war, Bo’s family was displaced and had to rebuild their lives. Bo persevered with hard work and a focus on his future.
Bo completed his education in Germany at the Technical University of Munich earning a PhD in agricultural chemistry. It was there where he first met Margret at a dance. He worked hard to master English, and then emigrated to the U.S. working initially on a childhood friend’s dairy farm in Scottsville, Virginia. During his time as a farmhand, Bo courted Margret with letters he sent back to her in Germany. Finally, in 1955, Bo returned to Germany for a brief time and the two were married on October 4, 1955. Bo returned to Virginia to prepare for his bride’s arrival, which was shortly thereafter.
Bo was offered a position in Research & Development at Uniroyal Chemical in Connecticut and moved to Hamden to raise his family. Bo’s considerable talents led to 33 U.S. patents. He was the senior inventor of Vitavax, a systemic fungicide that revolutionized crop protection. Leading experts said Vitavax would never work but Bo’s grit and expertise proved them wrong. Bo’s motto to his colleagues was “Deliver the promise”.
He traveled the world, visiting dozens of countries touting the advantages of Vitavax and building a global sales channel. Their home was decorated with many treasured mementos of those trips. Vitavax realized huge commercial success for Uniroyal and developing economies benefited greatly from its use.
Besides his loving wife, Margret, Bo is survived by a son, Fred and his wife Helen von Schmeling of Matthews, NC; two daughters Gisela and her husband Steven Pupillo of Pawcatuck, CT and Vera and her husband Rob Roche of Cheshire; his grandchildren Thomas and Sarah von Schmeling, Courtney and her husband Christopher Wesche, William and Jeffrey Strakosch, and Robert, Nicholas, and Julie Roche. Bo was predeceased by a brother and five sisters.
Bo loved the outdoors, hiking, sailing and skiing as a student in Germany. He introduced his young family to skiing and they spent many family vacations together in the mountains of New England. He also loved the beach and his family has countless memories vacationing in Nags Head, NC and Quonochontaug RI. He enjoyed vegetable gardening and always grew the most delicious tomatoes.
Living near the Sleeping Giant Park in Hamden for almost forty years, Bo and Margret were annual members of the Sleeping Giant Park Association and hiked there often. His family will forever treasure the memories and life of Bo. His grit, determination, intellect and sense of humor were evident to all who knew him. He delivered the promise of a truly remarkable life.
Arrangements- A private graveside service for Bo von Schmeling will be held at Mount Carmel Cemetery in Hamden, February 10, 2018. Burial will follow after the service, and there are no calling hours. The Alderson-Ford Funeral Home of Cheshire, 615 South Main St, 06410, is assisting the family with the arrangements. Donations in his name can be made to the Sleeping Giant Park Association, www.sgpa.org.
Cheshire - (203)272-7209
Naugatuck - (203) 729-2253
Waterbury - (203)753-5112
Cheshire - 615 South Main St. (Rt. 10) P.O. Box 89 Cheshire CT 06410
Naugatuck - 201 Meadow Street (Rt. 63) Naugatuck CT 06770
Waterbury - 496 Chase Ave., Waterbury, CT 06704