John L. Schmitt
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John L. Schmitt

Born: October 17, 1933

Died: May 3, 2020

On May 3rd, 2020, John L. Schmitt died with loved ones by his side in his Naples, Florida home. A devoted husband and father, as well as a loyal brother and friend, his absence will be deeply felt.

The younger of two sons born to Bernice (Cultra) and Victor Schmitt, John arrived on October 17, 1933 amid the Great Depression. While fortunately born into the burgeoning bottled water business, Hinckley and Schmitt, he tragically lost his father at age two. Soon after his mother remarried, a sister came along.

John grew up in the Chicago area, yet his intermediate and secondary school years were spent at the Asheville School in NC and The Hill School in PA, respectively. Duke University followed. While pursuing an undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering, he also was a Beta Theta Pi fraternity brother as well as a member of the ROTC. After graduation, and now married to his first wife and eventual mother of his five children, Jeanne MacNeille, John briefly served as a First Lieutenant in the US Air Force. When he returned to civilian life, he began his career as an engineer which eventually led to his return to the small Chicago suburb of Geneva. From there he went on to achieve an MBA from Northwestern proceeded by a law degree from John Marshall specializing in the patent field.

It was during this period that John met and married his second wife, Nancy Paulger. In their nearly fifty years of marriage they shared worldwide adventures that fostered new friendships, while maintaining close ties with family and friends at home.

Having enjoyed most sports, John participated in golfing, snow skiing and paddle tennis. He was a lifetime member and former one-term president of the Geneva Golf Club and later a member of the Kensington Golf and Country Club.

A former member of the Geneva Lion's Club, John was known to serve bratwursts to raise money during the famous Swedish Days celebration. He additionally was a life-long member of the First Congregational Church of Geneva and later also joined the Naples United Church of Christ.

Yet John was unpretentious in his enjoyment of life's simpler things like walking his dogs and reading the daily newspaper. He preferred to don his favorite sweatshirt and tattered jean shorts to work around the house and yard. He considered himself an average man but depictions from those who knew him best are not so ordinary. Attributes like honesty, loyalty and humility truly defined him until the end.

John leaves behind his wife Nancy; his sister Mary; his children John Jr. (Debie), Robb (Carla), Molly and Tad (Lorrie) and their families. His legacy also includes ten grandchildren and two great grandchildren, as well as multiple nieces, nephews and extended family, dear friends on both sides. He was preceded in death by his parents; his stepfather Stanley Logan; his older brother George, his niece Victoria; and more recently, his youngest daughter Melanie.

A celebration of John's life will be held at an undetermined date in Saugatuck, Michigan. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Parkinson's or heart disease foundations, the Geneva Lion's Club, First Congregational Church of Geneva, Naples United Church of Christ or the charity of your choice.

Farewell, John. The world has lost a good man. you will be profoundly missed, until we meet again. May love, joy and peace accompany you throughout your eternal journey.


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Published in Kane County Chronicle on May 14, 2020.
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2 entries
May 14, 2020
John has been sadly missed by the "1 o'clock" group at GGC. A true gentleman has left us.
Bob Engel
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May 12, 2020
Nancy I was so sorry to hear about John you are in our thoughts and prayers .
Barbara Cox
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