John G. Schmidt M.D.
1945 - 2021
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JOHN G. SCHMIDT, M.D. John G. Schmidt, M.D., beloved doctor of his hometown Orland, died Saturday, March 27, 2021 at his home in Chico, California. John was surrounded by his loving family, with beautiful music playing softly, a fire in the fireplace, and in view of his cherished last painting. He died from multiple myeloma, a non-curable form a cancer. Johna local kid who returned home to serve his communitywas a family practice doctor in Orland from 1981 to 2013. In the early 1960s at Orland High he played football on the winningest team in OHS history. Football coaches from Stanford and Cal Berkeley came to Orland to recruit him. Berkeley won out. In 1963 John was awarded UC's Benjamin Ide Wheeler Scholarship. He studied Science and Pre-Med and played football for the Golden Bears. As a graduating senior, John was awarded the National College Athletic Association (NCAA) Post-Graduate Scholarship for Outstanding Achievements as a Scholar and Athlete and was honored with Cal Berkeley's Senior Hall of Fame award as well. John was offered a Rhodes Scholarship to study at the University of Oxford in Great Britain. But John knew he wanted to become a doctor, and declined the offer. In the fall of 1967, John entered the UC San Francisco Medical School to study family practice medicine, graduating in 1971. Over the next three years, he completed his Family Practice Residency at UC Davis, finishing with honors in 1974. He received the Mead Johnson Award for Graduate Education in Family Practice. Following his residency he served in the US Army Medical Corps in Washington state with the rank of Major, teaching in the Fort Lewis, Washington Family Practice Residency Program. Upon completion of his active duty in 1976 John and his family settled in Tacoma/Gig Harbor, Washington, where he developed a family practice until 1980. But by the end of 1980 John and his young family moved back to California to become his hometown doctor. His family practice office in Orland opened in 1981. He also served as the medical director at the Glenn General Hospital Care Unit for Addiction Treatment in Willows from 1981-85. John became the physician for the Manville Plant near Willows, and he was on staff at Enloe Hospital in Chico from 1981 until his retirement. John was first diagnosed with multiple myeloma in the summer of 2012. Six months later on February 28 he announced his retirement. In a farewell statement about his life and career John wrote, "My career as a family physician has been the most enjoyable, stimulating, thought-provoking, engaging, and rewarding experience of a lifetime. I have had the privilege of really knowing so many of the best people in the world, and they all live right in our town." Soon after diagnosing the cancer, medical treatments were scheduled, short-term plans were made, and his family and friends hoped and prayed for the best. That John survived for close to nine years was a wonderful blessing to family and friends. His journey beyond his doctor years became one of the best times for him. He found time for good friends and beloved family. As a retired doctor who gave so much to his community, he finally found time for himself. In the back of his property in Chico John planted a vegetable garden, created feeding stations for his beloved birds, established a fire-pit circle with his hand-built chairs and benches, and created an artist's studio. He loved spending time at the family cabin in Butte Meadows. A morning fire in the fireplace and a campfire at night were moments he treasured. His week-long "summer camps," with all six grandsons, became an annual, cherished event. Trout fishing, carving and chopping wood, ATV riding, horseshoes, and a home-made zip-line were all part of the fun and games. Under the big walnut trees in his Chico backyard, John had time to come together with fellow physicians and long-time friends. The gatherings developed into a weekly talk circle, organized by John, with thoughtful and meaningful life stories shared around the warm campfire. The last session with nine friends was held just two weeks before he died. Family get-togethers at home and at the cabin for special holidays, birthdays, and just for fun were more frequent and always brimming with laughter. John's laughunique, contagious and immutable always sparked and topped those joyous moments. John and his wife Barbara visited many great art galleries in the United States and Europe. They went on biking tours in the Caribbean, Spain, and the United States. After a day gardening together they loved to relax sitting before a fire in the fireplace with a glass of wine. John also had time to pursue a precious, true passionart and painting. Over time his paintings developed from a deep expression of his emotions, his intellect, his physical being, and his spirit. John became a fine artist whose work was guided by his profound spiritual journey. His artistic response took the form of abstract art, as therapy and self-expression. In Spring 2016 Chico's Ninth Avenue Gallery held a one-man show of John's paintings. In his artist's statement he wrote, "I had lived with serenity in the presence of chaos for a long time, and I felt comfortable with the support I had to maintain it. However, when I was diagnosed with a non-curable form of cancerI was unable to maintain serenityArt had helped me 'see' my dilemmas of the past. So I decided to start painting about my situation." Dozens of friends attended the opening reception, and every artwork was purchased that night. All those paintings are printed in a book, Experiencing Oneness, with John's statements about his inspiration for each painting. John's final painting, a beautiful trio of brightly colored, leafy trees representing the seasons of life, rested on an easel at his bedside as he passed away. John leaves behind Barbara, his wife of 30 years, a daughter, Noel (Jason) Fabbri, a son, Morgan (Bree) Schmidt, a step-daughter, Jen Voss, M.D. and her husband, Mike Graham, M.D., and his brother, Jim (Lynn) Schmidt, and his six grandsons, one of the great joys of his life: Jake, Luke and Nick Fabbri; Connor Schmidt; and Kenyon and Jayden Graham. A Celebration of Life will be arranged for later in the spring. Memorial contributions may be made in John's name to The International Myeloma Foundation

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Published in Chico Enterprise-Record on Apr. 4, 2021.
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April 19, 2021
We went to him for many, many years. One time when I was accompanying my wife, he ordered me to get up on the table so he could check me out too, of course, without pay since we were there for my wife. He was a very generous person, always kind, a very good doctor. A doctor in a small town gets called out for this and that and everything else. I'm sure the whole town of Orland will miss him.
Nick and Louise Kraemer
April 8, 2021
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Anne & Keith Schroder
April 5, 2021
John was inspirational to so many. Wise, caring, a good listener. He will be missed.
Gail Clickner
Gail Clickner
April 4, 2021
Dr Schmidt was my doctor for nearly 30 years and I loved his compassion and caring. He was always there to talk with me and to me and he saved my life. I have missed him since his retirement. You were a great doctor, the very best. Rest in peace, dear Doctor Schmidt
Jan Smith
April 4, 2021
....Humble, thoughtful, joyful, inclusive, and so very wise.
John was like a living prayer, and such a treasured friend .
Terrie Thomas
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