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James Schmidt

James Schmidt, age 88, of Scotland, passed away Thursday, July 9, 2020 at his home surrounded by family. His funeral arrangements are incomplete at this time and are entrusted to Goglin Funeral Home.
James Reinhold Schmidt was born March 13, 1932, in Tripp, South Dakota, the seventh of eight children of Bertha and Pete Schmidt. After graduating from high school, he attended South Dakota State University, graduating with a degree in Pharmacy and as a Lieutenant in the U.S. Army.
He met the love of his life, Claire Lorraine (Lorry) Simpson in California in 1955, and after a whirlwind romance of letters and love at first sight, she agreed to join him at his posting in Crailsheim, Germany, where they were married in 1956. They spent most of a year traveling Europe on three-day passes, creating the memories and friendships that would feed stories and slideshows for years to come.
Upon returning to the States, Jim and Lorry settled in South Dakota where they raised their four children. They stopped first in Huron, then Plankinton – where they owned their first drug store – and eventually in Scotland, where they owned the Schmidt Drug Store from 1969 until his retirement in 2002.
As with most things in his life, Jim loved working on Main Street – he always had time to listen and offer advice (both medical and personal), whether behind the prescription counter, at the soda fountain or over a cup of coffee. He had a gift for true caring and mentorship that infused his life and impacted everyone he met.
His colleagues took note, and he was the recipient of the prestigious Bowl of Hygeia Award presented by the American Pharmacists Association for “outstanding records of civic leadership in their communities and encourages pharmacists to take active roles in their communities.” His civic engagement didn’t end at retirement as he continued on as a member of the Scotland Rotary club, the Chamber of Commerce, and Ducks Unlimited. He was a long-time member of both the Plankinton and Scotland School Boards and was a constant volunteer at pancake breakfasts, soup suppers, and the annual Cow Patty Bingo.
Travel, reading, duck and pheasant hunting, and following all SHS and SDSU Jackrabbit sports teams kept him busy and active – though long conversations over cups of coffee or glasses of Scotch were even better. Visiting friends and family from California to Canada, Missouri to France, and Florida to Minnesota kept his wanderlust fed – but nothing could beat a family reunion or a packed house for Christmas around a crackling fire.
Jim passed away peacefully after a very short illness on July 9, 2020, at the age of 88, surrounded by his wife and children. Although he will always be with us, he will be greatly missed.
Jim was preceded in death by his parents and seven siblings, as well as one son James (Jim) Peter Schmidt. He is survived by his wife, Lorry; daughters Robin (Tim) Shank and Heather (Julian) Peters of Redondo Beach, California; and son Robert (Christopher) Foster-Schmidt of Minneapolis, Minnesota. He was the tremendously proud grandfather of Jeremy Shank, and Ian and Megan Peters. His extended family includes multi-generational nieces and nephews, not to mention the many many friends who he loved as family.
No funeral service is planned at this time. A Celebration of Life will be arranged for some time in the future when safe travel is more widely available.
Donations can be made to the Spirit of ’76 Award Scholarship Fund at the Farmers & Merchants State Bank (PO Box 367 – 550 Main Street – Scotland, SD 57059) or sent directly to Lorry (PO Box 430 – Scotland, SD 57059). This is an annual scholarship given in honor of Jim and Lorry’s son Jim, who was a member of the Scotland High School class of 1976, who passed away after his junior year. The scholarship is awarded yearly to the two seniors who embody the spirit of compassion, community, and friendship which is so important in life.

A Celebration of Life will be arranged for some time in the future when safe travel is more widely available.

To plant memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of James Schmidt, please visit our flower store.


I am so sorry to hear about the passing of Jim. Growing up in Scotland, I have many great memories of Jim and Lorry. I remember how kind to me they were to me and my and my sister, Amanda. I loved hearing their stories about their trips and family whenever I visited the pharmacy. Jim was such a nice man, and my thoughts and prayers go to Lorry and their kids and grandkids.

Liza Ramos Aug 17 2020 9:42 AM

I was a young mother without much money. I would go to Schmidt Drug Store and ask Jim for advice instead of going straight to Dr. Ramos.

Mary Jerke Jul 21 2020 4:27 AM

I remember Jim as a very kind man, always genuinely interested in others. My deepest sympathies to Heather and his whole family. May you find comfort & peace through your faith, family, friends & loving memories.

Kristy Bjorum Jul 19 2020 4:05 PM

My very heartfelt condolences to the Schmidt family. I have very fond memories of Mr. Schmidt at the drug store in Plankinton and of my classmate, Jim, when they lived there. Peace be with you all. Roy

Roy Wilson Jul 14 2020 5:00 PM

Such a good person. Will be greatly missed. Prayer's to family and friends.

RHONDA LUPTON Jul 13 2020 11:59 PM

Sorry to about Jim's passing. I always enjoyed his visits either in the Drug store or at coffee time. Will be sending a memorial.

John & Janice Kelley Jul 13 2020 10:28 PM

We extend our sympathy to your whole family. We will miss him and thank him for all he did for our church and for our town.

Robert & Phyllis Goeken Jul 13 2020 10:15 PM

A true titan among men: ethical, thoughtful, kind, caring and compassionate! My sincere condolences to Lorry, Robin, Heather and Robert. Thank you for making our world better Jim, I shall miss you.

Leo Scott Layne Jul 13 2020 9:18 PM

So very sorry to hear of Jim's passing. My deepest sympathy!

Linda Neuharth Jul 13 2020 8:35 PM

A true gentleman, he will be missed. Our hearts go out to Robin, Heather and Robert. Sorry we can not be there in person but you are in our thoughts.

Janet and Mike King Jul 13 2020 6:58 PM

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