Animals Pets 09

Curtis Jay Schmidt

June 16, 2022


Curtis Jay Schmidt, age 45, of Hays, Kansas passed away Thursday, June 16, 2022 in Hays. He was born March 15, 1977 in Hays to Timothy and Esther (Burgardt) Schmidt. Curtis graduated from TMP-Marian High School in 1995 and obtained a MS from Fort Hays State University. On October 4, 2003 he married Amanda VanCampen in Victoria.

Curtis was the Zoological Collections Manager at Sternberg Museum of Natural History in Hays. He was also an Adjunct Faculty Instructor at Fort Hays State University and Environmental Scientist at JTC Enterprises.

He was a member of the Optimist Club of Hays currently serving as president, a member of the Kansas Herpetological Society having served as a past president and a member of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Hays.

Curtis truly loved his work and sharing his knowledge with others. His passion for the natural world came through with the enthusiasm he brought to teaching others, especially about reptiles, small mammals, and nature conservation.  Being with animals and nature brought him great joy. He enjoyed caring for his animals and pets, walking his dogs, and he was often heard saying he was “Going Herping.”

True to Curtis’s compassion and love for life through his passing he saved and enhanced numerous lives through organ, eye and tissue donation.

Curtis is survived by his Wife, Amanda; daughter, Avery; step son, Jonathan VanCampen all of the home in Hays; his father, Timothy Schmidt of Hays; his sister, Leslie Karlin and husband David of Hays as well as numerous nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his mother, Esther and sister, Tammie; and a brother-in-law, Ted VanCampen.

Live Streaming of services will be available through the funeral home website. then select Facebook Live.

Funeral services are 10:30 AM Wednesday, June 22, 2022 at St. Joseph's Catholic Church 215 W. 13th Hays, Kansas.

Memorial visitation will be Tuesday 6 PM - 8 PM with a combined parish vigil and rosary service at 7 PM all at Brock's-Keithley Funeral Chapel and Crematory 2509 Vine Hays, KS 67601.

Memorial contributions made payable to the Avery Schmidt Education Fund may be sent in care of Keithley Funeral Homes PO Box 86 Hays, KS 67601.

Condolences may be left by guest book at or by email at

To send flowers to the family, please visit our floral store.


Memorial Visitation
June 21, 2022

6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Brock's-Keithley Funeral Chapel and Crematory
2509 Vine Street
Hays, Kansas 67601

Combined rosary and vigil service
June 21, 2022

7:00 PM
Brock's-Keithley Funeral Chapel and Crematory
2509 Vine Street
Hays, Kansas 67601

Funeral Mass
June 22, 2022

10:30 AM
St. Joseph Catholic Church
210 W. 13th
Hays, Kansas 67601

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