KEARNEY — Wyatt J. Smidt, 5, of Kearney died Monday, March 23, 2020, at his home following a two-year battle with pediatric cancer.

Private family services are 10:30 a.m. Friday at Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Kearney with the Rev. John Rasmussen officiating. Burial will follow at Kearney Cemetery. The public may watch the funeral livestream at Follow the directions under the livestream toolbar in the main menu dropbox.

Visitation is 3-7 p.m. today at Horner Lieske McBride & Kuhl Funeral and Cremation Services. We ask that people comply with the CDC and state of Nebraska’s suggestions of limiting the size of gatherings.


Wyatt was born July 25, 2014, in Kearney and later adopted by Kyle and Kathy Smidt on Jan. 5, 2018. He attended pre-K at Zion Lutheran School in Kearney.

Wyatt faced pediatric cancer with courage, strength and with a positive spirit that inspired all who knew his story. He had something so very special about him. Wyatt was full of life, ambitious and became friends with anyone he met. Wyatt touched so many lives that crossed his path in five years. He was a true hero and an inspiration to everyone who met him. Wyatt enjoyed superheroes, sports and playing games. He talked about being a hockey player and a police officer when he grew up. He was baptized April 7, 2018, at Holy Cross.

Survivors include his parents, Kyle and Kathy Smidt of Kearney; sister, Ashlyn Smidt of Kearney; grandmothers, DeEtte Smidt of Superior and Patricia Fortkamp of Kearney; grandfather, Duane Fortkamp of McCook; great-grandfather, Martin Fortkamp of McCook; and aunts and uncles, Gene and Kim Creamer and children Brian, Brad and Sarah; Kurt and Karen Smidt and son Kristopher; Allen and Kelly Schiermeyer and children Kendra and Eric; Barry and Karla Blackstone and children Madison and Conner; and Mike and Jeanette Fortkamp and children Mathew, Morgan and Marcus.

Wyatt was preceded in death by his grandfather, Gilbert Smidt; great-grandparents, Klaus and Leona Smidt, Everett and Amanda Schlick, Don and Mary Smith and Erma Fortkamp; and cousin Kalen Schiermeyer.

In lieu of flowers, memorials are suggested to Children’s Hospital and Medical Center in Omaha or it is suggested to bring a children’s toy to be donated in Wyatt’s memory to Children’s Hospital.

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