FEBRUARY 7, 1920 - AUGUST 27, 2014
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Vincent Joseph Schement, 94, passed away August 27, 2014, in San Antonio, Texas. Affectionately known as Jim by his siblings, he was born February 7, 1920 in Cleveland, Ohio the son of Emanuele and Francesca Valenza Schimmenti, both originally from Polizzi Generosa, Sicily. He was predeceased by his son, James Vincent Schement; his parents; brothers, Gandolfo Schimmenti, Joe and Michael Schement; sisters, Josephine and Rose Schement, and Sarah Divito. He was a World War II veteran of the Rhineland and Central Europe Campaigns, enlisting August 5, 1944. He served in the Army's 75th Infantry Division, 291st Infantry Regiment, L Company. He was a Master Sgt. and received several commendations including the Bronze Star for his service. After WWII a transfer to Kelly Air Force Base, San Antonio in 1952, led him to meet the love of his life, Bertha Reina. They were married on July 31, 1953 followed by a honeymoon traveling throughout Mexico, visiting Veracruz, Mexico City and Acapulco. This was highlighted by the often told story of their stay at Fortin de las Flores, where the swimming pool was filled daily with gardenias. Their life together was a perfect blending of Mexican and Sicilian culture, marked by love, family, dance and song. He loved a plate of huevos rancheros, barbacoa and beer, as much as he enjoyed lasagna, homemade Italian sausage and wine. Sitting outside with a good cigar and a glass of scotch was where you could find him relaxing and sharing many stories of his life. Walking four miles every day, except Sunday, he was a familiar figure as he pursued his path along Blanco Road. Always the adventurer, along with his wife they visited all 50 States and traveled the world visiting China, Russia, Europe, Central America, Africa, Turkey, Finland and many other countries in between. He floated the Rio Grande River, hiked the Grand Canyon, retraced his WWII steps in Europe and on his 80th birthday ran a half marathon in Las Vegas. He loved to camp and hike, visiting hundreds of National and State parks, often with several kids in the back seat of his '53 Chevy or later his station wagon. He was a founding member of the 24 Karat Club, a group of fun loving couples meeting once a month for dinner, where he was known for ordering his gin martini. Surrounded by good friends, there was no lack of party themes including the Olympics, Halloween, Chinese New Year, Christmas and even a Hawaiian Luau complete with a whole roasted pig. He was a dedicated volunteer assisting with Holy Spirit Catholic Church and St. Peter-St. Joseph Children's Home's fund raising activities and ministries. Following his wife's lead, they worked as a team on numerous PTA ventures and NIOSA activities. He always worked behind the scenes to make her projects come true. A true man of The Great Depression, he always defended the little guy. He was loved by all, especially his numerous nieces and nephews. He is survived by his wife, Bertha and children, Dr. Jorge Reina Schement and wife, Nancy Kranich; Linda Fraga and husband, Ernesto; Debra Grant; Kathy Metcalf and husband, Kyle; Silvia Cusick and husband, Tom; Joe Schement and wife, Amy; Deb Sickler; and loving brother, Anthony Schement and wife, Coleen of Cincinnati, Ohio. Grandchildren are Elisa and Daniel Schement, Fuerzalinda and Dr. Andrew Kitcher, Ernesto Luis and Claudia Fraga, Francesca and Patrick Leahy, Lauren Grant, John Metcalf, Sara and Beca Cusick, Ginger and Charlie Riddle, Jill and Michael Parker and Marie Cusick, Vincent Jacob, Sonya, Luciana and Anthony Schement and great grandchildren, Ernesto Luis, Vicente and Antonio Fraga.
SEPTEMBER 1, 2014
PORTER LORING NORTH REFLECTION ROOM
SEPTEMBER 2, 2014
HOLY SPIRIT CATHOLIC CHURCH
8134 BLANCO ROAD
Interment with Military Honors will follow in Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery.
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Published in Express-News on Aug. 31, 2014