John Schmit

Funeral services for John Schmit, 101, will be held Saturday, Nov. 19 at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in O’Neill at 10:30 a.m. with burial to be held in the Calvary Cemetery in O’Neill with military graveside rites by the O’Neill American Legion and Legion Riders. Lunch will be served at the Evergreen in O’Neill following the burial. Visitation hours will be from 5 to 8 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 18 at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in O’Neill with a 7 p.m. Rosary.

John Nicholaus Schmit was born May 18, 1921 to Nicholaus and Elizabeth (Olinger) Schmit at their farm home near Osmond, NE. He was the second oldest of 14 children. The family lived at Osmond until John was in the 2nd grade.

The Schmit family then moved to a farm south of Atkinson. John went to a country school until graduating from the eighth grade. He stayed home and helped with the farm work. He was inducted into the US Army in 1943. He was instructed in driving amphibious tanks and was sent to the Philippines, to Leyte and Okinawa. They were being sent to Japan when the Peace Treaty was signed. He got to come home and was Honorably Discharged at Fort Ord, CO on Feb 2, 1946. He took a job at Skrdla garage. Later he bought a new Ford truck and did a lot of local hauling. John met Eileen Engler at a card party in April of 1947. They were engaged in July and married on November 26, 1947 at St. Boniface Catholic Church in Stuart. They lived in Atkinson. Melvin was born Dec 3, 1949. They moved to Lynch, NE and John hauled gas, etc for Standard Oil. Thomas was born June 10, 1951. They moved to O’Neill where John was a car salesman for the Chevrolet garage. John was also on the police force. They moved to 129 W. Hancock, O’Neill in 1953. Ronnie was born Aug. 29, 1954, Roger on July 9, 1959, Kristi on August 3, 1966 and Kevin on December 19, 1967.

John was always interested in sports. As a young man, he was pitcher for a baseball team south of Atkinson. When his boys, got old enough, he was coach for a little T shirt team in Southwest O’Neill. He like to go fishing, camping and have a cold beer.

He worked for O’Neill Auto as a route salesman for 38 years. He made many friends in the towns on his route and he remembered their names, where they lived and many things about them right up to the end. When he retired, he enjoyed wood working and took in many craft shows. He was awarded an Honorary diploma in 1999 from St. Mary’s of which he was very proud since his wife and six children had also graduated from there.

He is survived by his wife Eileen Schmit of O’Neill; children Melvin (Patricia) Schmit of Grand Island, NE, Tom (Linda) Schmit of Stillman Valley, IL

Ron (Patricia) Schmit of Phillips, NE, Roger Schmit of Wayne, NE, Kristi (Jim) Schutt of Orchard, NE, Kevin Schmit of Wrightsville, PA; 12 Grandchildren, 20 Great Grandchildren and 3 Great Great Grandchildren; a brother George (Udonna) Schmit of Atkinson, and a sister Catherine Steinhauser of Stuart, NE. 

He is preceded in death by his parents, 2 Grandchildren Eric and Stephanie, Brothers Michael, Nick, Richard, Raymond, Ben, and Clarence; and his sisters Mary Ann Osborne, Betty Myers, Leona Troshynski, Rose Mary Schmit, and Eleanor Jones. 

In Lieu of Flowers the Family requests Masses.