John Nicholaus Schmit, 101, of O'Neill, died Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2022 in O'Neill.
Visitation was held Friday, Nov. 18, 2022 at St. Patrick's Catholic Church in O'Neill with a rosary.
Funeral services were held Saturday, Nov. 19, 2022 at the church in O'Neill. Fr. Davied Liewer officiated.
Pallbearers were his children Melvin, Tom, Ron, Roger and Kevin Schmit and Kristi Schutt.
Burial was in the New Calvary III Cemetery in O'Neill with military rites provided by the O'Neill American Legion Post and Legion Riders.
The family requests memorials be made for masses in John's name.
Seger Funeral Home in Atkinson was in charge of the arrangements.
John was born May 18, 1921 to Nicholaus and Elizabeth (Olinger) Schmit at their farm home near Osmond. He was the second oldest of 14 children. The family lived at Osmond until John was in the second 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 U.S. 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 Nov. 26, 1947 at St. Boniface Catholic Church in Stuart. They lived in Atkinson. Melvin was born Dec. 3, 1949.
They moved to Lynch 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 Aug. 3, 1966 and Kevin on Dec. 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 liked 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.
John is survived by his wife Eileen Schmit of O'Neill; six children Melvin (Patricia) Schmit of Grand Island, Tom (Linda) Schmit of Stillman Valley, IL, Ron (Patricia) Schmit of Phillips, Roger Schmit of Wayne, Kristi (Jim) Schutt of Orchard and Kevin Schmit of Wrightsville, PA; 12 grandchildren; 20 great-grandchildren; three great-great-grandchildren; one brother George (Udonna) Schmit of Atkinson; and one sister Catherine Steinhauser of Stuart.
He is preceded in death by his parents; two grandchildren Eric and Stephanie; six brothers Michael, Nick, Richard, Raymond, Ben and Clarence; and five sisters Mary Ann Osborne, Betty Myers, Leona Troshynski, Rose Mary Schmit and Eleanor Jones.
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