Very Sad Breaking News. Our Pal Chris Schmaltz Passes Away.

Chris at the helm!

Chris at the helm!

We are very sad to report the passing of one of the good guys in the passion of classic boating.. Long time fellow Woody Boater Chris Schmaltz passed away yesterday around 11AM. To say we are all devastated here is a massive understatement. Chris was one of the first folks in the passion of classic boats that made me feel welcome and not alone. I didn’t even know he worked with Hagerty at the time, I just knew he was there at the show to have as much fun as I was. He shared our passion for the lifestyle as well as humanity. Chris was one of the nicest most open minded agreeable people I have known. It’s strange to even write known instead of know..

Chris and long time best friend, Carla at Hagerty

Chris and long time best friend, Carla at Hagerty

As Carla from Hagerty, said when she told us.. “I keep telling myself that Chris will be boating on the biggest, bluest, calmest lake up above soon” Carla.. I don’t think we could have said it any better.. Chris will be greatly missed here, but I know that when I go boating on that same lake one day, Chris will be there and making me feel welcome. Until then Chris, you will be missed…Matt & Texx

Chris and I out on Suzy on lake Dora racing Miss America IX.. What a fantastic morning..

Chris and I out on Suzy on Lake Dora racing Miss America IX.. What a fantastic morning..


18 replies
  1. Greg Lewandowski
    Greg Lewandowski says:

    Very sad news. I remember all of us having a great dinner together in Algonac a couple years ago.

  2. Carla
    Carla says:

    Thanks Matt for the tribute to Schmaltzie. Here was a guy who had no enemies!!! For those of us who knew him well, our hearts are broken that we will no longer experience that laugh; however, our lives are incredibly more rewarding calling Chris our friend.

  3. Paul H.
    Paul H. says:

    Thank you for recognizing and memorializing one of the real “good” guys in this hobby, Matt. Karen and I met Chris in 2008, got to know him over the next year or so and spent a ton of time with him wherever our paths crossed which was often. The celebration with he, Carla and others after the banquet dinner at the Petoskey International show is a particularly memorable time we shared.

    Through the kindness of Carla, I was able to speak with Chris by phone on Thursday afternoon and despite his illness, he was still Chris – unmistakably Chris. This was a very sad loss of one the early friendships that developed for us in this great hobby, and it hurts to see him gone.

  4. Texx
    Texx says:

    Chris always brought a smile and a kind word to say. He will be missed.

    Matt, Chris and Tommy Holmes sharing a story at Algonac in 2012.

  5. Dennis Mykols
    Dennis Mykols says:

    Sorry to hear this news, we knew he was ill, but not that bad. Chris was one of the first people to welcome Ronnie and I to our Chapter, and we did a couple of stories in Scuttlebutt, on his favorite project, the “Youth Judging” program. He will be sorely missed,
    Dennis and Ronnie

  6. Wilson
    Wilson says:

    Chris was a wonderful guy…I remember his phone calls…He was always business, but always cheerful, upbeat and the kind of guy you wanted for a friend. What is it they say, “Only the good go young.” Our prayers go out to his family.

  7. Jim Mersman
    Jim Mersman says:

    He was one great ambassador for our hobby. He will be missed but my hope is his passion for classic boating will live on through all of us. Thanks Chris for being my friend.

  8. Bill Woodrow
    Bill Woodrow says:

    We are saddened to learn that Chris has passed. He always had a smile, a kind word and was a true friend. His passion for wood boats and what he was doing was evident whether with Hagerty or Water Wonderland Chapter of ACBS. He will truly missed by all. Our hearts go out to his family.

    Barb and Bill Woodrow

  9. Craig A. McIntosh
    Craig A. McIntosh says:

    Thank you, Carla and Woody Boater friends/family!
    This wonderful human being has shaped me into the person I am today…
    The heavens will echo with his infectious LAUGH; his SPIRIT will remain with me always and forever.

    Peace my brother, Craig

  10. Alex
    Alex says:

    Such a kindhearted, instantly likeable man. It saddens me to know he’s gone. My heart goes out to you, Carla, as I know you two were so close.

  11. Rick Thie
    Rick Thie says:

    We are very saddened to hear of Chris’s passing and our hearts are aching. I first met Chris in 2012 through Carla Gernhofer of Hagerty as we were preparing for that year’s Cruising for the Cure event. Chris jumped right in to help us out with our efforts to help others. That was just the kind of person Chris was. His easy smile, infectious laugh, warm good nature and concern for others will be greatly missed. While we only met each other on a few occasions over the past two years, I am glad that I had the chance to get know him and to share in his enthusiasm and passion for wooden boating and the people associated with it. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Chris’s family and friends.

  12. TommyHolm
    TommyHolm says:

    schmaltz-ski , as I called him , was a hoot. Always the smile, always a positive attitude. RIP

  13. W. J. GOES
    W. J. GOES says:

    I want to thank Chris for his stories he told me along with helpful information I needed. Chris, It was always fun to see you at different shows and at my home lake of Geneva Lake Wisconsin. You will be missed and I will look forward to the future …when we will be able to run into each other again and ride the boats of our dreams…. Thank you …your friend…Walter

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