NWA Philanthropist Lawrence Schmieding Dies at 89

Lawrence H. Schmieding, CEO of the Schmieding Foundation, died Monday evening at Circle of Life Hospice House in Springdale following a two-year battle with cancer.

A successful businessman in the produce industry, Schmieding was well known for his philanthropy, which largely focused on programs for children and the elderly.

His gift of more than $15 million to the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences established the Schmieding Center for Senior Health & Education in 1999 and will fund the center's operations through its first 20 years.

The Schmieding Center, a partnership among UAMS, Northwest Health System, the Donald W. Reynolds Institute on Aging and Area Health Education Center-Northwest, operated out of temporary quarters until a new 27,500-SF facility opened on North Thompson Street in Springdale in 2002. The state-of-the-art senior clinic and education facility was the first regional center on aging in Arkansas and the first geriatric clinic in northwest Arkansas.

Dr. Larry Wright, who has served as the medical director of the center since it was established, said Schmieding was very pleased with the partnership that was created by his gift. He was especially proud of the center's staff and the service provided to the older adult community of northwest Arkansas.
"His generosity and vision for helping others is a legacy I believe will live long after all of us are gone," Wright said.

Schmieding started H.C. Schmieding Produce, a wholesale distributor of fresh fruits and vegetables, in 1961.

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