John M. Schmidt

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John M. Schmidt died July 10, 2008. He was born in 1918 near Omsk, Russia. When John was 7, his father, a prosperous farmer, secretly sold his possessions and the family left Russia under cover of night. John grew up on the family farm in Coaldale, Alta. and studied at Prairie Bible Institute. During WWII, he served as a conscientious objector, constructing roads around Jasper and welding at the Vancouver shipyards. In 1945, he married Mary Nickel. For two years they filled the roles of schoolteacher, preacher, and medical personnel for the First Nation reserve at Little Grand Rapids, Man., as missionaries for the United Church of Canada. Then, John studied at Mennonite Brethren Bible College, Winnipeg, from where he was invited, in 1950, to become director of The Gospel Light Hour, a radio program later called MB Communications and today, Family Life Network. He worked with great joy and zeal in the radio ministry for 13 years, adding more English programs and launching the High German, Low German, and Russian programs. He enjoyed new beginnings, and pastored in several churches. Both John and Mary eagerly helped those in need. John’s boldness in sharing his faith led many people to pray with him to accept Jesus. He remained full of hope in the trials of life. After Mary died, John published his memoir, called The Lord’s Donkey. In 1994, he married Olga Dueck. He is mourned by Olga; children Elly Dyck (Edgar), Linda Koop (Walt), Dorothy Siebert (Harold), Ed, Shirley Schmidt (Wally), John (Janice), and Grace Penner (Marv); Olga’s children, Rose Prince (David), Marv Dueck (Kate) and Ron Dueck (Heidi); 25 grandchildren; 12 great-grandchildren; and 3 brothers. The funeral was July 15 at Eastview Community Church, Winnipeg.

  • Birth: May 7, 2013
  • Birthplace:
    Omsk, Russia
  • Death: July 10, 2008

  • Married:
    Mary Nickel, 1945; Olga Dueck, 1994
  • Family:
    Children Elly Dyck (Edgar), Linda Koop (Walt), Dorothy Siebert (Harold), Ed, Shirley Schmidt (Wally), John (Janice), and Grace Penner (Marv); Olga’s children, Rose Prince (David), Marv Dueck (Kate) and Ron Dueck (Heidi); 25 grandchildren; 12 great-grandchildren; and 3 brothers