JOHN EDSEL SCHMITH, 84, of Clanton, Alabama passed away April 14, 2021 at his daughter’s house in Pelham, Alabama, surrounded by his three children, several grandchildren, and other loved ones. John was born September 19, 1936 in Clanton, Alabama and is the son of the late John Schmith and Gertie Mae (Foshee) Schmith.
John was the Valedictorian of the Chilton County High School Class of 1954 and attended Auburn
University where he earned both a Bachelor and Master of Science Degree in Mathematics. John’s early career was on the cutting edge of computer programming, and he was in high demand. John and his late wife, Patsy Ann (Hays) Schmith lived in Auburn; Birmingham; Oakridge, Tennessee; Atlanta, Georgia; and Prattville, Alabama, before settling in Jefferson County, Alabama, where they raised their children in Hoover and Vestavia Hills. While living in Jefferson County, John and his family attended Mountain Chapel United Methodist Church where they were members of their beloved Wesley Sunday School Class and where they served faithfully for several years.
John and Patsy returned to Clanton in the late 80s, and joined the Clanton First United Methodist
Church where John was active in multiple ministries including serving as an usher, Meals on Wheels, International Care Unit (serving homebound members), Methodist Men’s Club, and the Men’s Pancake Breakfast. In addition, John and Patsy were active members of the Aldersgate Sunday School Class.
John held several positions with Southern Company Services from where he retired as a systems controller and continued to perform contract work for the company for several years after his retirement. John also served as an adjunct professor at Jefferson State Junior College and the University of Montevallo where he enjoyed getting to know his students and helping them gain confidence to overcome struggles with mathematics and computer science and realize success within the career field of their choosing.
John was proud to be a graduate of Chilton County High School and stayed in touch with his classmates. He enjoyed helping plan yearly reunions, and monthly lunches with local graduates. John truly saw everyone he met as a unique gift from God. All those who knew John will remember him as one of the best listeners and conversationalist they have ever known. He took an active interest in all those with
whom he came in contact, and he had the ability to discover and celebrate the special and distinctive qualities about each individual. John had the gift of making a person feel as if they were the most
important thing in the world while in his presence. He was indeed trusted and beloved by all who had the privilege to know him.
John is survived by his son, John Edsel, Jr. (Melanie Ward) of Hoover; daughter, Gretchen Lee DiFante (David) of Pelham; daughter Suzanne Hays Van Wyk (Roy) of Tallahassee; grandchildren Lauren Davis (Gavyn), Allie Arana (Javier), John Crawford DiFante, Kristina Van Wyk, John Hunter Schmith, Nina DiFante, Brooke Van Wyk, Elena DiFante, Madison Schmith, Ava DiFante, Lilly Van Wyk and great-granddaughter Cambria Davis.
A time of visitation with the family will be held at the Clanton United Methodist Church on Sunday, April 18, 2021 from 2:00 – 3:30pm immediately followed by a joint memorial service for John and his late wife, Patsy, who passed away on May 3, 2020.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to Clanton Senior Connections where both Patsy and John loved to spend time and fellowship with friends and to the Clanton First United Methodist Church.
The family wishes to thank the team of angels at Southeast Hospice for their professionalism, dedication and unparalleled compassion. Our father could not have had more loving supporters caring for him during his last month of life on earth. He came to love each of you in such a short time, and our family has been truly blessed by you. Thank you Marcella, Kim, Gayla, Hunter, April, and Chaplain Lee from Southeast, Michael from HME and Teya and Joycelen.
Final care and arrangements entrusted to the Ellison Memorial Funeral Home of Clanton, AL.
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