Many in political and government circles in San Diego and throughout California knew Jim Schmidt as a tireless community advocate. He was also one of the nicest gentlemen you could ever hope to meet, even while pointedly telling you the way things should be — or how much more efficient government was when Ronald Reagan was Governor.
In case you missed it, Jim passed away on January 5 at his home in El Cajon. Here is the UT San Diego obituary.
I was asked to ensure SD Rostra readers were aware of this Thursday’s celebration of Jim’s life…
Celebration of Life — Jim Schmidt
Thursday, January 31st — 3:00 pm
Hall of Champions in Balboa Park
I first met Jim when I was a college student. Jim and Jerrie’s daughter Suzanne and I were friends in some of the same college organizations — she introduced me to her parents. At the time, Jim was number two to Gordon Luce at Great American and a leader in the Holiday Bowl Committee (the chairman, as I recall). I was struck by how down-to-earth and accommodating he was to a young guy, especially considering Jim was a high profile “captain of industry” in San Diego.
When I first ran for La Mesa City Council, Jim was one of my earliest supporters. I was always humbled that he would tell people over the years he had long followed my career. My career? He was the man with the recognized career.
One of my greatest honors was to be recognized by the East County Chamber of Commerce a couple of years ago with an award named after Jim Schmidt. He congratulated me … then apologized to me for getting something with his name on it!
I will miss Jim. My prayers and thoughts are with his family.