Richard Loren Schmidgall, 72, of Thomaston died Dec. 24, 2009, at Mid Coast Hospital in Brunswick surrounded by his family.

Born in Normal, Ill., on June 25, 1937, he was the son of Edgar C. and Lora (Sinn) Schmidgall. In 1966 he graduated from Illinois State University in Normal and continued graduate studies at Illinois State University in Edwardsville, Ill., and Bradley University in Peoria, Ill. On Aug. 29, 1964, he married Dodie (Nickles) Schmidgall in Collinsville, Ill.

Rich taught American history at Alton High School in Alton, Ill., for five years and then served as education director for private education in Minnesota and Missouri for five years.

After vacationing in Maine during the Bicentennial in 1976, Rich and his family moved to Rockport in 1977. He spent eight years employed at LaVerdiere’s Pharmacy in Rockland. In 1985 Rich and Dodie realized their dream of opening a bed and breakfast in Camden. They established and operated the Nathaniel Hosmer Inn in Camden for 18 years, retiring in 2003. During part of this time, Rich also worked at the Coastal Workshop in Camden.

Rich and Dodie enjoyed traveling during their retirement and spending winters in Portland, Ore., with their son, Chris. For the past three years, he had worked part-time delivering for local retail pharmacies.

Church involvement was most important in Rich’s life. He had served as Sunday school teacher, deacon, trustee, delegate and a Pastoral Search Committee member. He was a longtime faithful member of the First Congregational Church UCC in Camden until moving to Thomaston three years ago. Rich was a current member of the Federated Church in Thomaston. He also served as a volunteer with Coastal Family Hospice, and had served on the board of directors for Bay Chamber Concerts in Rockport.

Books, art and music were essential to his happiness. Rich was a passionate reader, owning a varied collection of books. He was an avid reader of The New York Times, and never left the house without a book or newspaper in his hand. One could always find Rich listening to classical or jazz music. He loved singing and harmonizing, which seems to be a Schmidgall trait. When two or more Schmidgalls are together, there will be singing. He enjoyed playing his saxophone and recorder. One could often find Rich on his deck where he ate breakfast daily, rain or shine, cold or warm, simply enjoying the beauty and sounds of nature.

Rich took great pride in the appearance of his lawn and flower gardens. Many days he could be found working on them until after sunset.

His family was of utmost importance in his life. He was so proud of his three sons, and enjoyed interacting with them as adults. He once wrote to them, “know you all are greatly loved and respected. I’m glad I got to know you all. You have enriched my life and many others too.” Of course, everyone who knew Rich knew his sons had the ideal role model. He lived his life based on his devotion to God and his family.

He is survived by his wife of 45 years, Dodie Schmidgall of Thomaston; three sons, Todd Schmidgall of Topsham, Chris Schmidgall of Portland, Ore., and Brandon Schmidgall of Portland; his stepmother, Evelyn Schmidgall of Minier, Ill.; three brothers, Theodore Schmidgall of Armington, Ill., Daniel Schmidgall of Pekin, Ill., and Edgar Schmidgall of Naperville, Ill.; a sister, Linda (Schmidgall) Hartman of Tucson, Ariz.; and many, many nieces and nephews.

He was predeceased by his parents; his brothers, Kenneth and Robert; and a sister, Bonita. He will be sadly missed by his special friends in the Saturday Morning Coffee Group, Ross and Mary, Reed, Pat, Penny, Tom, Jack and Pat, and Lyn.

Rich was known to be very creative in his gift-giving. However, this Christmas he was the recipient of the ultimate gift!

A memorial service was held Jan. 4 at 3 p.m. at the Federal Church in Thomaston.

Memorial donations may be made to the Shields Mission Fund, c/o First Congregational Church, 55 Elm St., Camden, ME 04843; or the Outreach Committee, c/o Federated Church, 8 Hyler St., Thomaston, ME 04861.

Expressions of sympathy may be sent to longfuneral@gwi.net.