Longtime Cody, WY resident Anna Amelia Schmidt Lewis peacefully passed away in Bozeman, MT on Tuesday, July 13, 2021, after an extended battle with head and neck cancer.
Anna was born on Jan. 1, 1946, at the Lovell, WY hospital, seconds after midnight. Her mother, Margaret Grimes Schmidt, claimed the doctors delayed the birth so Anna could be the first baby of the new year.
She met her future husband, Johnny H. Lewis, in grade school. They became high school sweethearts, married on April 18, 1965, and moved to Cody. Anna and Johnny shared almost 56 years of marriage. Johnny affectionately called her “Annie” and she called him by his initials, “JHL”.
When Anna was little, the women in her family loved to style her thick, long hair into creative braids that trailed down her back.
Anna’s grade school years were spent working hard on the family farm in Stringtown (between Otto and Burlington), then making the long school bus trip to school in Greybull. Her father, William Schmidt, always bragged she could milk a cow faster than her brothers.
After her mother died when she was 10 years old, friends and relatives, particularly Aunt Louise Larson of Lovell and Aunt Gladys Rose of Oregon, helped her father to raise Anna and her brothers, Pat and Andy. Eventually the family moved into Greybull.
Anna was very involved in activities at Greybull High School and was crowned the prom queen her junior year. After graduation in 1964, she studied business at Casper Junior College. She worked in the Park County Assessor’s office, dress shops, and Walmart in Cody.
Anna and Johnny loved Wyoming’s mountains and started 4-wheeling to explore the Big Horn mountains in high school. That passion for the outdoors continued their entire lives. Weekends and vacations were spent driving, hiking, backpacking, camping, and skiing in the Absaroka and Beartooth mountain ranges. Johnny would always find a spot for “Annie” to stop and look at the scenery, wildflowers, and watch the wildlife grazing. No matter the weather or time of year they would stick-roast a hot dog over a fire and exercise their many well-loved dogs. Their love of the outdoors was passed on to their children and grandchildren.
Shane and Shauna were astonished to learn that their mom had another love when she lived in Greybull: Drag racing with the Collingwood Motors Pontiac Racing Team! Anna would climb into one of the couple’s Pontiacs for the Powder Puff races, put the pedal to the metal, and surpass Johnny’s race time where he had proudly won a trophy in the men’s division.
Anna focused a generous amount of her time and energy as a homemaker. She made sure her children, grandchildren, and other family members had a loving home with healthy food and well-ironed clothes. As teenagers, her children would ask her to stop ironing their Levi blue jeans and sweatpants with creases down the legs because it just wasn’t “cool!” She would just smile back at them.
Anna welcomed friends and family members into her warm, wonderful home, whether the visit was for just dinner or days. Anna enjoyed reading cookbooks and knitting blankets and potholders; she dabbled with quilting, and taught Sunday school to preschool children, and helped with the children’s choir. She also volunteered her time to help in the Cody public schools whether it be chaperoning a field trip or putting books away in the library; she also volunteered her time to help during public elections. Anna really enjoyed planting brilliant colors of perennial flowers. Her favorites were yellow and orange sunflowers, marigolds, and zinnias.
For the last year and half, both Anna and Johnny resided in Bozeman with their golden-doodle, Lynse Ann.
Johnny passed away in Bozeman on Jan. 18, 2021. She is also preceded in death by her father, William Schmidt.
Anna and Johnny’s children are G. Shane Lewis (Beth) of Bozeman and M. Shauna Shaw (Lance) of Cheyenne, WY. Grandchildren are Lars, Gregory, McKethen, Marshall, Meghan, Amy, Cole, and Jenny. Anna’s surviving brothers are Pat Schmidt of Cheyenne, WY, and Andy Schmidt of Casa Grande, AZ.
At Anna’s request, no services are being held. Anna loved animals and any memorial gift contributions may be made in her name to the Park County Animal Shelter in Cody.
Arrangements are in the care of Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service www.dokkennelson.com [dokkennelson.com]