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Barbara Lee Soldmann Schadt

September 08, 1938 ~ March 04, 2022

Barbara Lee Soldmann Schadt, 83, of Vero Beach, FL, Westport, CT and New York, NY passed away peacefully at her home in Vero Beach, Florida on March 4, 2022 with her son by her side. She was a fiercely independent force who will be greatly missed by all who loved her.
Barbara was predeceased by her best friend and beloved husband of 62 years, Jim Schadt. She is survived by her children, Lauren Schadt Baker (Charlie) and Andrew Schadt (Kristen), her grandchildren Charlie (Christine), AJ, Caroline and William, her sisters Pat Mollsen (Cliff), Michele Goodman, and their families, brothers-in-law Tom Schadt (Sharon Reitveld) and Jerry Schadt, and many treasured close friends.
Barbara was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois. One old friend wrote “She grew up in a time when expectations for women were limited. Women might attend college, meet a nice man, have a family in their 20’s and support their husband’s career. Barbara did all of that, but she always wanted more.” She was the first in her family to attend college and was accepted to Northwestern University on an academic scholarship. Standing in a line at freshman orientation, she met Jim Schadt who would become her best friend, husband and partner in life. They dated all through college, taught swimming at the same country club during the summers, and were married just before their senior year.
Their life took their family to Cincinnati, OH, Westport, CT, Kenilworth, IL and back again to Westport and Rowayton where they lived for over 40 years. Barbara was always engaged in her community, but always felt there was more she could accomplish on her own. In Westport, she served as the President of the Young Women’s League and championed the funding and construction of the Levitt Pavilion which remains a cultural center for Fairfield County. Barbara surprised everyone but her husband when, at the age of 40, she enrolled at the University of Bridgeport School of Law. In typical fashion, she excelled in the classroom and led the Law Review. Upon graduation, she joined the firm of Kelley, Drye & Warren in their real estate group. Determined to have a greater impact on her community, she became an Assistant Attorney General for the State of Connecticut focusing on environmental protection. Several years later, she was appointed as a Magistrate to the District Court of Connecticut where she served until she retired. On more than one occasion, she was known to bring a gavel to the dinner table. Barbara’s many professional and community accomplishments continue to inspire her family and friends.
Outside of her career, she was also an avid tennis player, skier, and world traveler. She traveled extensively, sharing the experiences with dear friends and family including heli-skiing over one million vertical feet, exploring Hong Kong and Vietnam with girlfriends and sleeping in a tent in the Serengeti. She maintained a wonderful group of adored friends throughout her life, keeping the same holiday traditions, book group and bridge club for over 50 years!
Barbara Soldmann Schadt was a quiet force with a pioneering drive. She set high expectations for herself and expected nothing less from others. She inspired her children, family and friends to reach higher, to think and live independently and to work hard to build a joyful, successful life. While her family and dear friends will miss her every day, she will live on forever in our hearts.
A private family ceremony took place in Vero Beach. A celebration of Barbara’s incredible life will be held this summer in Southport, CT. In lieu of flowers, donations in her memory may be made to the Westport Young Women’s League, the James P. and Barbara Schadt Swimming Scholarship at Northwestern University or the charity of your choice.


Gigi (Zula) Reedy

March 17, 2022, 11:45 am

May Barbara Rest In Peace. I was a high school friend! We were a group of 20 friends who got together every five years, mostly up in Green Lake Wisconsin! Barbara was always there, no matter how busy her life was at home! We always had a great time together and it kept us young at heart!!!

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