Mr. Schmitz grew up in Salem, earned a degree in food science from Oregon State University, and then served two years in the Army, including a stint in Vietnam. Upon his return home, he earned a master's degree in journalism from the University of Oregon. He worked in advertising and in journalism, and in the 1970s also authored a nationally syndicated comic strip with his sister for three years.
For the last four decades, he worked as a freelance advertising and feature writer. His work appeared in Digger, the Capital Press and other publications. His most recent article for us, on grow bags, appeared in the May issue.
The staff of Digger will miss John's contributions to the magazine as well as his quick wit. At his request, no services were held. A full obituary appeared in the Statesman Journal (Salem, Ore.) as well as online.