John Schmertz

Obituary of John C. Schmertz

December 4, 1929 – November 22, 2020 Jack Schmertz was a mechanical engineer, inventor, flute player, and teller of tall tales to children. He was born, just shy of 91 years ago, to Mildred Floyd Schmertz and Robert Schmertz, an architect and songwriter in Pittsburgh. He attended Central Catholic High School and Harvard University, playing flute and piccolo in the marching bands of both schools. After college, he was drafted into the Army during the Korean Conflict, where he worked with Korean medical doctors to plan much-needed distribution of food to Korean civilians. Following his return to Pittsburgh, he pursued engineering and received a Bachelors’ and a Masters’ Degree in mechanical engineering from Carnegie Tech. Most of his career was spent with Westinghouse, working in their nuclear power divisions, and Westinghouse received five patents based on his work. Even after retiring from Westinghouse, his love for engineering enabled him to give full play to his imagination, putting his mind to solving problems ranging from passive climate control within buildings, to special seals for airplane engine parts, to a unique bicycle drive train. For two of these post-retirement inventions, he was awarded patents, the second one which will be officially awarded posthumously. To the delight of his family, Jack performed Gilbert and Sullivan operettas with the Pittsburgh Savoyards, dancing with two left feet, while mastering the music impeccably. He picked up his flute again after retirement, playing with local concert and marching bands. Jack was predeceased by brother Robert and sisters Mildred and Gretchen Jacob. He is survived by his wife of 63 years, Mary Ann Godfrey Schmertz, and his four children: Johanna (Robert Vertes), of Houston and Delray Beach, Sara of Edgewood, Amelia (Francesco Cerrai), of Philadelphia, Robert of Greenbelt, MD, grandson Leo Cerrai, nephew Rob Jacob and great-niece and nephew Maura Jacob and Matthew Jacob, as well as many loving nieces and nephews by marriage.. Friends received at McCabe Bros., Inc. Funeral Home, 6214 Walnut Street, Shadyside on Sunday, 5-7 pm, where funeral will commence on Monday at 9 am, followed by Mass of Christian Burial in Sacred Heart Church at 10 am. In lieu of flowers, the family request that memorial gifts be made to East End Cooperative Ministry or Humane Animal Rescue Condolences may be made at