Cover photo for James Schmidt's Obituary
James Schmidt Profile Photo

James Schmidt

February 2, 1929 — June 2, 2022


James Schmidt


I traditionally tell stories of things I understand, have convictions about, or have experience with. But today, as I sit down to write, I am telling the life of someone I did not share many things with, understand, or necessarily always agree with. And while all of that may be true, the funny thing was, while James was stubborn, strong-willed, and rugged, I loved him entirely for it all. I loved, and still do love, the parts of him I did not see, the parts of him I did not get the chance to understand. Because while I did not know everything about him, what I saw did prove that his kindness and dedication extended far beyond me or my lifetime. He was never too tired for my stories; even in the end, he watched patiently and pensively, thinking of his best advice. No matter the significance that was him. He cared that way, unconditionally and absolutely. My grandpa was genuine, kind, and one of the strongest people I have ever met. And with all of that said, now we can start his story.

The family of James Albert Schmidt has great sadness in announcing his peaceful passing on June 2, 2022 with family at his side. James was age 93 and is survived by his wife Mary Lou Schmidt of 91 and was married for 71 years. His close family consists of their two children, Cheryl Schmidt and Larry Schmidt, and Larry’s wife Nong Sundarapura and his granddaughter Issara Schmidt.

James was born February 2, 1929, to Elsie and Robert Schmidt in Evansville, Indiana, and graduated from Bosse High School. He served honorably for two years in the Army from 1951 to 1953 stationed in Germany during the Korean War in the Honored Guard.

James was the oldest of 10 children. Four sisters, Helen died at 8 months, Nora, Karen, and Raeann and five brothers, Lowell, Russell, Wayne, Robert, and Danny.  Surviving are Russell, Wayne, Robert, and Karen.

Before James joined the Army, starting his senior year in high school, he worked in the Oil Fields setting up drilling rigs and after his military duty worked at the Chrysler factory and then later owned a Texaco service station and an automotive repair shop in Evansville before moving to Glenwood Springs CO in 1968. While in CO he owned Aspen Anvil, an Ornamental Iron Working company in downtown Aspen, designing and building many of the iron spiral stair cases and fireplace mantles in the area. He worked at several jobs as a heavy equipment mechanic and welder including mining, tunnel building, interstate road building through Glenwood Canyon and Vail pass, as well as ski lift building at Ski Sunlight in CO and Palisades Tahoe (Squaw Valley) CA. James always enjoyed a creative challenge applying his many talents. Among his other talents were hunting big and small game applying his marksmanship skills learned while in the Honored Guard, fishing, camping, and designing and building Sprint Cars. He had a passion for sports, mainly football and basketball.

Upon his health starting to turn in 2014 at age 85, he and Mary Lou moved from Glenwood Springs, Colorado, to Winona to be near their son Larry and his family.

It’s very difficult to accept your absence but your wonderful presence is felt often. A picture of your smiling and peaceful expression is captured on your urn and still brings calm and peace to every day. You will forever be near and, in our hearts, rest in peace James.

Your Loving Family

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