John D. Schmidt, 92, passed away on Monday, May 23, 2016, at Kidron Bethel Healthcare.
John was born in Marion County on Jan. 29, 1924, to Daniel B. and Anna (Schmidt) Schmidt. He was the fifth of seven children. Growing up on a farm during the Great Depression was a difficult time. John learned at an early age to earn cash by whatever means were available to him. This involved hunting, trapping and lighting the schoolhouse stove. He also traveled to Colorado and Missouri to shuck corn. He later had the opportunity to work as a farmhand in the Montezuma area. Here he developed life-long friendships. John loved school, but was not able to finish high school, completing his sophomore year at Goessel High School.
John served in the Army during World War II, as a non-combatant. Most of his time was spent in Egypt. During this time, he was able to visit the Holy Land and climb one of the Great Pyramids. These are opportunities he always treasured. After the war, he worked for Crossroads Co-op. During this time he met Linda Banman, and they were married on Sept. 16, 1954, at Goessel Mennonite Church. The newlyweds took up residence in Newton. John continued to work for the co-op in various capacities, from a large propane delivery route to management, until retiring in 1986. He always had a close working relationship with farmers, and continued to supply them with seed for a number of years following his retirement from co-op.
John’s wife, Linda, passed away on Feb. 24, 2015. Also preceding him in death were sister Martha and brothers Danny, Clarence and Walter. He is survived by his children: Richard (Pam) Schmidt of North Newton, Terri (Leslie) Wedel of rural Goessel and Steve (Dawn) Schmidt of rural Moundridge; grandchildren: Bret (fiancée Breckyn Dawson) Schmidt of Newton, Luke Schmidt of Lawrence, Janessa (Neal) Walters of Andover and Lindsey Wedel of rural Goessel; sisters: Mary Jane Janzen of North Newton and Alice Janzen of Enid, Okla.; and a host of nieces, nephews and other extended family.
Visitation with the family will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, May 31, at Faith Mennonite Church, 2100 N. Anderson Ave., Newton. Services will be at 11 a.m. Wednesday, June 1, at Faith Mennonite Church. Memorials have been established for Faith Mennonite Church and Mennonite Central Committee. Petersen Funeral Home in Newton is in charge of arrangements.