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John  Clyde Schimmel

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“Having moved from Battle Creek to Grand Rapids in 1957, I still remember my grade school friendship with John from Fremont Elementary and W.K.Kellogg...Read More »
1 of 5 | Posted by: Donald Battjes - Pasadena, CA

“Ah, the canoe trip! In the drink we went. Warm water but a cold day. Everyone scurried to find us some dry clothes in their cars and put the heat...Read More »
2 of 5 | Posted by: Elizabeth and Doug McGinnis - MI

“I used to spend the night with Cheri and John, to the point I called John " my roomie". I would start the morning having John making me coffee! I...Read More »
3 of 5 | Posted by: Susan Anzicek - Family Friend

“The entire Schimmel family was our next door neighbor in Battle Creek, Mi. I knew the whole family but was and still is BEST friends with his brother...Read More »
4 of 5 | Posted by: Michael Tieche - Peoria, AZ

“My favorite memories of John were from the late 70s and early 80s when I would come with Lansing schools as a volunteer at Ebersole, earning hours...Read More »
5 of 5 | Posted by: Tim Case - Okemos, MI


John Clyde Schimmel, age 73, of East Lansing, Michigan died peacefully with family by his side, Saturday, November 25, 2017.

John was born July 29, 1944 in Battle Creek, MI to the late Clyde and Arlene (Best) Schimmel. He was a graduate of Battle Creek High School, Kellogg Community College, and Wayne State University and received his Master's Degree from Michigan State University. John retired from the Lansing School District in 2001, having served 32 years as teacher, naturalist and director. In December of 2002, he helped create the Ebersole Foundation and served as its first President where he was instrumental in raising $600,000 to purchase and preserve land adjacent to the Center. John was ahead of his time as a longtime advocate out–of-door environmental education. He put his heart and soul into trailblazing activities to provide hands-on education for youth. He took pride in developing comprehensive curriculum guides for the Center, annual canoe trips into the Wilderness of Canada's Quetico Provincial Park, a 14 panel solar heating/education system for the main lodge, building an authentic First Nation Wigwam, team building courses and loved doing pond study and owl pellet dissection with the kids. In 1990 the Michigan Alliance for Environmental and Outdoor Education awarded John the-Julian W. Smith Award for significant attainment in the area of outdoor education over an extended period of time. Also, in 2001, the Lansing Board of Education officially named the prairie at the Ebersole Center, the John C. Schimmel Prairie to honor his work at the Center. When not engaged teaching other children he adored spending time with his own teaching them the love of water, sailing, swimming and a respect for the environment. When not feeling the breeze behind the sail of a boat, you might find him on his Harley Road King, driving his convertible Miata or fly fishing the nearest stream.

He will be profoundly missed by his wife Cheryl (Cheri) Schimmel and his two children Jonathan (Noreen) Schimmel, Jenifer (George) Michos from his first marriage to Sharon (Smith) Schimmel and three step-children who adored him too, Jennifer (Steve) Converse, Rebecca (Adam) Boyce, Elizabeth (Patrick) Schieding. John leaves behind three siblings: Gordon (Dale) Schimmel, Marlene Schimmel Kershaw and Ross (Nanc) Schimmel and one brother who predeceased him, Chris Schimmel and 15 grandchildren who were the light of his life.

Visitation is at Estes Leadley Funeral Home, Lansing, MI on December 2, 2017 from 2-4 pm. A memorial service will be held in May on the Ebersole Center's John Schimmel Prairie. In lieu of flowers contributions may be made to the Ebersole Foundation-John C. Schimmel Fund, P. O. Box 4802, East Lansing, MI. Personal messages for the family may be placed here at www.farleyestesdowdle.com.