James  Schmit

Obituary of James Michael Schmit

   Please click the link below to view the livestream of James M. Schmit service




 James Michael Schmit, 62, of Eagle, ID, died of a brain tumor (Glioblastoma Multiforme) in Weatherford, TX on December 10th, 2023. Jim will be remembered in the Boise Community for his leadership as the Idaho VP of Century Link; he valued his employees and mentored many with steadiness, humor, and humility. But what really defined him was his devotion to his family as a father and husband, and the steadfast love and pride he held for his children and grandchildren.
     Jim was born in Lisbon, ND to Phyllis and Louis Schmit as the fourth of five children. When Jim was in second grade, his parents moved the family from North Dakota to Idaho, and saw being close to the University of Idaho as an opportunity for their children. Jim graduated from the U of I in 1983 and worked many summers for his dad to help pay for college. Louie was a master carpenter, and Jim and his siblings grew up helping their dad build homes. Jim continued to practice those carpentry skills for the rest of his life, building anything from cribs to hope chests and doing remodeling projects.
     While at Troy High School, Jim developed his sense of leadership and humor. He was Student Body President and often led assemblies with the telling of jokes. He played football and basketball (he often told the story of friends chanting ‘Put Jim In!’ during his last senior basketball game and scoring 13 points after sitting on the bench most of the year!) Jim was also an active member of the Troy FFA Chapter and bragged to his kids that he was the Rafter Cutting Champion. Perhaps the most important thing that happened in Troy was Jim falling in love with his high school sweetheart, Colleen Swanson. Yes, he was a senior and she was a freshman, but their love endured dating through high school and college. They were married, September 24, 1983 and were grateful to be able to celebrate 40 years of a devoted marriage at their honeymoon spot on the Oregon coast just a few months before he passed.
     Jim began his career in Boise in 1983 and was a loyal employee for 36 years for the ‘phone company’, known at different times as Mountain Bell, US West, Qwest, and CenturyLink. He moved many times over the years from Idaho, Colorado, Oregon, Washington, and finally back to Boise 20 years into his career. Jim was an innovative business leader with numerous community chair opportunities he fully enjoyed. When he retired from Century Link in 2019, he consulted for Ziply Fiber, a company that truly took care of Jim and his family in the wake of his cancer diagnosis. He received many awards and recognitions throughout his career, but in true Jim fashion and in line with one of his favorite sayings he learned from his dad: “it’s amazing what you can accomplish when you don’t care who gets the credit.”
     Jim was dedicated to the community through his work with multiple non-profits. He served as Chairman of the Fundraising Committee for the 2009 Special Olympics World Games in Boise, helping to raise more than $35 million under difficult economic conditions. The Special Olympics was a cause near to his heart, and the memory of being involved is cherished by his whole family. Jim also served as the Chairman of the Board for the Idaho Association of Commerce and Industry and the International Telecom Pioneers. Perhaps his favorite non-profit role, which he held for 8 years, was as Chairman of the Board for the Idaho Governor’s Cup Scholarship Program, an organization that raises money for Idaho high school graduates to attend in-state colleges and universities. He loved this cause and was focused on maximizing the impact for Idaho students, nearly tripling the amount of scholarship money awarded during his tenure.
     While Jim had many successes in the business world, nothing was ever more important to him than his roles as husband and father. His family was always his number one priority and his children – Chelsey, Courtney, and Kyle—were the pride and joy of his life. It is hard to put into words the kind of dad Jim was. He never missed a parent teacher conference, basketball game, or dance recital. He made midnight runs to Kinkos for school projects, was home by 6 for dinner every night, proofread papers, practiced basketball shots (maybe having a bit too much fun with free throw shots himself) and notoriously kissed them goodnight every night without fail. Jim supported every possible endeavor his kids pursued, and they never questioned his unconditional love for them. He can be partially captured through some of his common sayings: “be careful it’s a big city out there”, “nothing good happens after midnight”, “chip off the old block” (used when talking about his kids of course), “be here now”, “love is a choice you make every day” and countless others. He was a constant presence in his family’s lives, and he will be deeply missed.
     After receiving a terminal brain cancer diagnosis in April of 2020, Jim and Colleen packed up their home of nearly 20 years in Eagle, ID, said goodbye to many cherished family and friends, and moved across the country to Weatherford, TX to spend his last years as “Papa” near his 3 adoring granddaughters. Jim fought cancer courageously, graciously, and fiercely. Even while enduring countless chemo, radiation, and infusion treatments, he kept his faith, an attitude of gratitude for each day God gave him, and never lost sight of who or what he was fighting to live for. By God’s mercy, and many answered prayers, he had three full years with no deficits. However, In the past 6 months he lost most of his speech, and in the last month the use of his arm
and leg. At the onset of his diagnosis, Jim made a list of ‘Things to Live For’ and, by the grace of God, was able to cross so many off his list: meeting two more grandchildren, celebrating his and Colleen’s 40th wedding anniversary, walking his daughter Chelsey down the aisle, meeting Kyle’s future spouse, graduations, birthdays, Christmases, family vacations, putting in a pool for the grandkids, and so many other milestones. He was so looking forward to holding his fourth granddaughter due in April and giving one of his iconic wedding toasts at Kyle’s wedding in August. He will be present always in spirit and forever in our hearts.

     James Schmit was preceded in death by his parents, Louie and Phyllis; He is survived by his wife, Colleen; children
Chelsey Grabe (Chris), Courtney Hasley (Joel), and Kyle Schmit (Maddie); 3 granddaughters, June, Margot, and Penny Hasley; brothers: Paul, Jerry (Rene), Dan (Cynthia); sister, Joan Corder (Bill); In-laws: Eddie and Gladys Swanson, Ray (Chalene), Lorraine Cook, Marilyn Taylor (Roland), and Gail Edwards (Dave); as well as many nieces, nephews, and friends.

     All are welcome to join us in remembering him and his legacy. Jim’s Memorial Service will be held January 20th at 10:00am (Summers Funeral Home in Meridian, ID) immediately followed by a Celebration of Life Lunch at 12:30pm (Banbury Golf Course in Eagle). There will also be a Troy area reception on January 22nd at 12:30pm (Pie Safe Bakery in Deary, ID). In lieu of flowers, donations in James Schmit’s name to the Idaho Governor’s Cup are welcomed (PO Box 983 Boise, ID 83701).

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of James Schmit, please visit Tribute Store

Memorial Service

10:00 am
Saturday, January 20, 2024
Summers Funeral Home- Ustick Chapel
3629 E. Ustick Rd.
Meridian, Idaho, United States

Celebration of LIfe following Memorial Service

Banbury Golf Course, Eagle, ID at 12:30 PM

Reception Deary, Idaho

January 22, 2024 at Pie Safe Bakery in Deary for all of the friends and family in the Troy, Idaho area
Share Your Memory of