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John Schmidt

KSAL StaffMarch 24, 2020

John Schmidt, went to be with the Lord on March 23, 2020 after a long battle with Multiple Myeloma and ultimately complications from pneumonia.

John was an adoring husband and devoted father. He loved the outdoors and shared his passion for hunting with his children, grandchildren, family and friends. He could often be heard singing to his favorite Doo-Wop tune or performing in a barbershop quartet. John had a quiet disposition but was a pillar of strength and his presence was larger than life. There’s not a dessert he didn’t love and was a lifelong Bronco fan. He travelled the world as an avid hunter but also enjoyed the relaxation of a beach vacation. John, a true gentleman and man of character and wisdom, was an incredible example to all who knew him.

John lived in Salina, Kansas and is survived by his wife, Betty Tallman Schmidt, his son and daughter-in-law Willi & Sherry Schmidt, 3 step-children and their spouses Tracy & Dave Newman, Lisa & Mike Foley, Amie & Stephen Gulick, 13 grandchildren, 5 siblings, nieces and nephews, great nieces and nephews and his previous wife, Tschudy Griffith Schmidt. He was predeceased by his daughter Katherine Schmidt.

John was born on September 19, 1943 to Clarence & Nora Schmidt. He grew up in McPherson, Kansas on the family’s Hilltop Turkey Farm. After graduating from McPherson High School in 1961 he received his undergraduate degree at Ottawa University and his doctorate degree in wildlife biology from Colorado State University. John spent 40 years of his career in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado and Montana and the plains of Kansas. He was a faculty member at Colorado State University and later worked to connect people “interested in supporting a cause” for Ducks Unlimited, RMEF and then with the Land Institute from which he retired. A novice author, John was in the process of writing a book about the hunting club he proudly founded along the Platte River in Colorado – Drakeland Farms.

A strong supporter of its mission, John served as a member of Rotary International for more than 40 years and was the President of the Salina Noon Rotary Club. In addition, throughout his lifetime, John was involved in many other philanthropic conservation endeavors.

John loved our Lord Jesus Christ, bringing comfort to his loved ones in knowing that he is in God’s everlasting kingdom. John was the love of Betty’s life and a precious gift and he will remain in her heart forever. He was loved and adored by so many and will be greatly missed by all who knew him. John’s family will celebrate his life a later date. In place of flowers, donations can be made in his honor to the Land Institute 2440 E. Water Well Rd. Salina, KS 67401. For more information or to leave condolences go to

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