Werner A. Schmitz, former president of Deutz Corp. in Atlanta has passed away. Born in Bergisch Gladbach, Germany, in 1935, Schmitz began working for Kloeckner Humboldt Deutz (KHD) in 1951. While working full time, Schmitz also attended night school and completed his MBA.
At 19, Schmitz agreed to work for Deutz USA in New York City. After a time back in Germany, he returned to the United States in 1967. Deutz Corp. eventually moved from New York City to Hicksville, N.Y., and then in 1974 was relocated to Doraville, Ga.
With the move to Georgia, Schmitz was named president of Deutz USA, having previously served as marketing sales manager and vice president. He also served as head of Deutz in North America, and in the Americas at various points during his tenure with the company.
In 1986, Schmitz was named CEO in addition to being president. He served in this dual capacity until his retirement in 2000, at which point he had worked for Deutz for 49 years. When Schmitz came to the U.S., KHD sold a handful of diesel engines here. By the time he retired in 2000, annual sales exceeded 50,000.
Schmitz was preceded in death by his parents, Toni Schmitz (1969), Lucie Schmitz, his brother Helmut, and his sister-in-law Anneliese (2005). He is survived by his wife Gina, daughter Dagmar D. Schmitz Carlton, son-in-law David Carlton and three grandchildren.
In his memory, memorial gifts are suggested to World Vision International or to the Humane Society of the United States.