Former Schmitt Music president dies at 78

A former president of the iconic Schmitt Music Company has died. Robert P. Schmitt was 78 and died Thursday from complications of Parkinson's disease.

Schmitt became president of Schmitt Music in 1957, representing the third generation in a business founded in 1896 by his grandfather Paul A. Schmitt. The family operated one store near Tenth Street and Marquette Avenue in downtown Minneapolis.

Robert Schmitt put a gigantic painted musical score on a wall of its headquarters, earning the store worldwide recognition.

Until retiring in 1985, he expanded the company by opening new stores and acquiring other music businesses. Today, Schmitt Music operates ten stores in Minnesota and 15 stores in other states.