Jacob "Jake" Andrew Schmitt - Spicer-Mullikin Funeral Homes & Crematory

Jacob “Jake” Andrew Schmitt

November 3, 1925 - December 23, 2023

Jacob “Jake” Andrew Schmitt was born on November 3, 1925 in Norwalk, Connecticut. He passed away on Saturday, December 23, 2023 at the age of 98.

One of ten children, Jacob was the son of the late American artist Carl Schmitt and Gertrude Lord. Jacob spent his childhood in the Silvermine neighborhood of Wilton, Connecticut, except for 18 months that he lived in Italy and France (1938-39) where his father was working as an artist.

After graduating from New Canaan High School, he entered the seminary of the Holy Ghost Fathers for a brief time. Jacob had always been a gifted athlete, so upon leaving the seminary he played professional baseball. Originally signed by the Brooklyn Dodgers, he played in the minor league organizations of the New York Giants and Philadelphia Phillies. Branch Rickey, an owner of the Dodgers who signed him, called him “the best young left hander I’ve seen in years.”

In 1954, Jacob met the love of his life, Janice Rose Froelich. They were married in St. Elizabeth’s Church in New York City. For the next eight years, they lived in a beautiful home Jacob and his eight brothers built by themselves in Silvermine, Connecticut.

After leaving baseball, Jacob and Janice and their three young children moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota so he could complete his bachelor’s degree at the University of St. Thomas. For the next ten years he taught at Mechanic Arts High School in St. Paul and simultaneously pursued a Ph.D. in Philosophy of Education from the University of Minnesota. Upon receiving his doctorate, he returned to St. Thomas, this time as a full professor, where he taught for 17 years. He retired in 1989. He infused all of his classes with Aristotelian and Thomistic principles, as well as the teachings from his father that centered on an understanding of aesthetics and beauty.

Jacob was one of the original board members of the Carl Schmitt Foundation created in 1996 to perpetuate the legacy of his father as a Christian artist and thinker. He spent the latter years of his life reviewing his father’s numerous artistic notebooks and writing about his father’s theory of aesthetics.

Along with his love for his family, art, and his Catholic faith, Jacob loved to talk about philosophy, theology, and baseball. He loved following the Phillies. He will be remembered for his kindness, good humor, and sage advice.

Jacob is survived by his brother, the Rev. Christopher Schmitt of Houston, Texas; his children, Christina Smith (Daniel) of Lakeville, Minnesota, William Schmitt (Irma Luz) of Bear, Delaware, Elizabeth Keefe (Michael) of Bear, Delaware; 16 grandchildren; and 16 great-grandchildren. He is preceded in death by his loving wife, Janice; brothers, Robert, Austin, Michael, Peter, David, John, Carl; and a sister, Gertrude.

A visitation for family and friends will be held from 10 am until 11 am on Wednesday, January 3, 2024, at St. Margaret of Scotland Parish, 2431 Frazer Road, Newark, DE, where a Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 11 am.  Following the Mass, a reception will be held at St. Margaret. Interment will be held at 11 am on Thursday, January 4, 2024, in All Saints Cemetery, 6001 Kirkwood Highway, Wilmington, DE.

In lieu of flowers, friends are invited to contribute to the Carl Schmitt Foundation, 30 Borglum Road, Wilton, CT 06879 or online by clicking here.



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9 Condolences for Jacob “Jake” Andrew Schmitt

  • I will miss Jacob very much! He was a true friend to me. I will always appreciate everything he taught me about philosophy and the Catholic faith. It is my prayer and hope that he is enjoying the beatific vision of the most Holy Trinity.

  • I will always remember Jacob. He had a sharp mind and a generous heart. I cherish all the memories of the time I spent with him, learning about Philosophy, Art, Religion and Baseball. He had a passion for these topics and he generously shared his knowledge, and he became a mentor for me. I will always be grateful for the way he welcomed me into his home, and offered his friendship. Many memories of him hosting our Friday night cigar nights, or driving together to Philly to receive spiritual direction. I offer my prayers for his soul with the hope that he is now in the House of the Father.

  • To the Schmitt family: I send my deepest condolences to all. I didn’t know him that long, but in the short time I had to care for him, I truly enjoyed his presence and meeting his children. A lovely man and family. Prayers for you all.

  • I never had the privilege of meeting Jacob, but he was clearly a fascinating and good-natured man. I can tell he was a good father, because I do have the privilege of working with his son Bill, who evidently inherited much of his curiosity and good nature (and hopefully longevity!) from his dad. I wish the family my heartfelt condolences and all the very best through this holiday season.

  • Jacob will be dearly missed. I loved getting to know him and attending mass at the time. I am praying for the repose of his soul and the comfort of all his family and loved ones.

  • He made me laugh, appreciate Art, and think more deeply about my Faith. Loved my short visits to his house w his Meals and listening to his stories. RIP Jacob!

  • I will truly miss Jake and the wonderful conversations we shared. He was such a sweet man, and I am a better person for having known him. Thank you for everything Jake, I learned a lot from you.

  • To my friend Bill and the Schmitt family, my thoughts and prayers are with you. Reading about Jake’s life, it is apparent that his family cherished and learned from him. This is a beautiful remembrance of what Jake lovingly shared for the next generation. May his memory be a blessing and may your family find comfort together.

  • I have been fortunate to become close friends with Jacob’s son, Bill.
    Bill is loyal, kind, intelligent and caring, and a great dad. Bill spoke about his father Jacob often, and it is clear that Jacob’s qualities have been passed onto his son. May Jacob rest in peace knowing the powerful legacy he has left.