James C. Schmidt
James C. Schmidt

November 7, 1928 - January 24, 2017
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Obituary

Jim Schmidt passed away on January 24, 2017 having lived an amazing life. He was born in 1928 to George and Irene Schmidt in Elkhart Indiana, the 7th of 8 children. He was raised at the Father Gibault School for Boys. He was an avid sportsman with a love of baseball and particularly boxing where he became a Golden Gloves champion. It was also at this time that he became a lifelong fan of the Detroit Tigers.

At the age of 17 he enlisted in the Army Air Corps, with his first assignment in Japan at the end of World War II. Jim would be stationed all over the world. It was his time in England where he would meet his future bride, Eileen Wardell. They married in 1954 and moved to Michigan. Soon it was off to be stationed in Germany where they would have two sons, Tom and Paul.

At the height of the cold war, he would be stationed at Lowry AFB in Colorado, where their first daughter Michele would be born. During the Vietnam War, he would be stationed in Thailand, Germany and again in Thailand. His youngest daughter, Lindsey, would be born during his second deployment to Thailand, while the family stayed in England.
Colorado had left a lasting impression on him, so the family would return to Aurora, Colorado when he retired from the Air Force in 1969. The family would live here for 35 years. Jim then went to work for the USPS where he would stay for 24 years. He loved his time at the post office as a letter carrier. It was here he would make a dear friend with Julie Beller, taking her under his wing and their daily conversations gave him tremendous joy.

As his kids were growing up, he was the dad involved in every aspect of his children's lives. He coached baseball teams, attended every sporting event, dance recitals, and cello concerts. Jim also loved to drive, anywhere, all the time. Family vacations consisted of road trips that make the movie "Vacation" look normal. He would rather drive than fly anywhere. This held true as his children grew up and moved away. Jim would be the first volunteer to help any of them move.

Jim and Eileen were surrogate parents to all of their children's friends. Dinner time usually involved the whole family plus any number of additional kids. It wasn't unusual to see Jim out in the driveway playing basketball with the neighborhood. If a team ever needed an extra player, Jim would be the first one to volunteer. It didn't matter how old the kids were or what game they were playing. This also included spending time with his nephew and nieces from his beloved sister Violet. When a high school friend of one of his kids needed a place to live, Jim and Eileen didn't hesitate to accept him in.

As his children became adults and started their own families Jim remained an integral part in their lives and the lessons his children learned from him as a husband and father were ingrained within them. Often asked was "What would Dad do?" Jim's greatest joy was being a grandfather and then later a great grandfather. He would volunteer to take the kids anywhere, participate in any daycare, school, or sports activity and the joy he experienced from being a part of their lives was evident in how he bragged about them to all his friends.

After his retirement in 1992 from the Post Office, Jim was able to renew his passion in golf. He became a golf marshall to subsidize his golfing habit and could be found on the golf course every morning at 6:00 am.

Jim survived a battle with lung cancer in 2004, defying his doctors. He then lost Eileen, his beloved wife of 55 years, in 2009. As his health began to decline, Jim did not slow down; still finding a way to participate in activities by providing "feedback". He still attended his grand-children's and great-grandchildren's activities never turning down an invite to a kickball game, winetasting or watching his hometown Broncos with family and friends. Through it all Jim, kept a positive attitude. Max, his furry best friend was at his side through it all, but that may have been, in part, because of the dog biscuits he always had in his pocket.

Jim never met a stranger. He had a knack for making friends wherever he was and left a lasting impression. If you had the chance to know Jim, you were one lucky person.
Jim will be forever loved and missed by all that new him.

A Funeral Mass in James's memory will be held on Tuesday, January 31, 2107 at 9:00 a.m. at Horan & McConaty Family Chapel, 5303 East County Line Road in Centennial, Colorado. He will be buried at Ft. Logan National Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a memorial contribution in James's memory to the Alzheimer's Association at www.alz.org.

Please share memories of James and condolences with the family by signing the guestbook below.

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Service
Horan & McConaty - County Line
5303 East County Line Road
Centennial, CO US 80122
Tuesday, January 31, 2017
9:00 AM