Gary was born May 29, 1963, in Bismarck, ND, the son of Vincent and Regina (Wald) Schmidt. After graduating from Bismarck High School in 1981, Gary served in the U.S. Airforce from 1981-1986, and graduated from Boston University in 1989. Gary was employed at various hospitals in Germany, Boston and San Francisco. As a LPN, he had a great ability to care for others and ease their pain and anxiety over whatever illness his patients were faced with.
Gary was better known to his friends as Joshua, a name he took which had religious significance for him. No matter what the name, he was quite a remarkable individual who died from AIDS much too young.
Gary embraced life with open arms and great enthusiasm. He saw his HIV status as a double-edged sword - while it was the disease that took his life, it also brought blessings and taught him many valuable life lessons. His positive energy and great spirit were inspiring and often contagious. In his battle with HIV and AIDS, he was a student and a teacher of Eastern and Western philosophies, reflexology, guided imagery, therapeutic touch and sound therapy to bring healing. He worked hard in the community volunteering at many AIDS organizations, including Center for Living, Face to Face, Food for Thought, Pets are Loving Support, and the HIV Complementary Therapy Center in Santa Rosa.
Gary is survived by his parents, his sisters Deb, Colleen, Mary, (his twin) and Sandy and their families. He is deeply missed by his close friends Keith Holmes, Corey Mees and Paul Candler of San Francisco, as well as many, many other friends and family.