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Schmidt, James J.  
James J. Schmidt, 89, loving husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather and friend, passed away peacefully June 18, 2015 at his home in East Tawas surrounded by his family. He was preceded in death by his wife of 67 years, Irene (Smyczynski); his parents, Joseph and Rose; his sisters, Lucille, Eva, Francis and Rosemary; his brothers, Ed and Joe; and his daughter, Karen Carter. He is survived by his children, Stevann (Dave) Fraley of Williamsburg, Ky., Barbara (Albert) Sabo of Munroe Falls, Ohio, Rachelle (Ron Tomallo) Schmidt of Akron, Ohio, Donna (Richard) McLeod of Fowlerville, Kevin Schmidt of Cleveland, Ohio, Luann (Gil Klingshirn) Schmidt of East Tawas, David (Dawn) Schmidt of Warren and Brigett (Chris Dewald) Schmidt of Alden; eight grandchildren and six great grandchildren; his brothers, Bill and Al; his sisters, Judy (Bill) McChesney and Joyce (Charlie) Heinrich; and many nieces, nephews, cousins, friends, other family and a very special brother- and sister-in-law, Chester and Marie (Smyczynski). Jim was born in Tawas City on his parents' farm on Schmidt Road (currently Oats Road). He left for war at a young age of 19 and served in the U.S. Marine Corps during World War II and was awarded the Purple Heart for injuries received at Iwo Jima. He was also awarded the Good Conduct Medal and received an honorable discharge. His life accomplishments after his extensive war injuries were nothing short of a miracle making him a hero in our eyes. Jim married Irene on Jan. 4 1947 at St Joseph Catholic Church in East Tawas. They moved down to the Metro Detroit area for work and to raise their family. Jim retired after 32 years of service as a master technician at RCA Service Corporation. Jim served as the president of his local IBEW union. He retired in 1984 and moved back to his roots in East Tawas where he found his dream home in Wilber Township. He loved the outdoors and working around his property where he grew and sold Christmas trees as a hobby for many years. Jim was an avid deer hunter and still holds the bragging rights for his pride and joy 11 point buck of 1962. He also enjoyed bowling, fishing, Tiger baseball along with Irene and spending time with family and friends. He had a never ending sense of humor and sarcasm that would make all who had the pleasure to know him fall in love with him instantly He was kind, loving, giving and took pride in helping those in need. He was a very hard working, strong, giant of a man who could overcome just about any problem he was faced with and conquer most any project or task put in front of him. Jim was a life member of the American Legion, Knights of Columbus and a devout member of Holy Family Catholic Church. He contributed a substantial amount of his time in the past 30 years as a key person in the local Alcoholics Anonymous program and along with Irene they contributed many hours to Habitat for Humanity. A celebration of his life will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday, June 25 at Holy Family Church. The family will receive friends on Tuesday from 5 to 8 p.m. and Wednesday from 2 to 8 p.m. with a 7 p.m. Rosary Wednesday at the Tawas City Chapel of Buresh Funeral Home, 416 Whittemore St. and Thursday at the church from 10 a.m. until the time of service at 11 with Rev Lawrence Boks officiating. Burial will take place in Immaculate Heart of Mary Cemetery following the end of mass. He will be given a full honors military service there. Following will be a luncheon at the church. Memorial contributions are suggested to Holy Family Catholic Church. An on-line guest registry is available at
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Published in Iosco County News-Herald from June 22 to June 30, 2015
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