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Obituary For John Schumacher

Posted: Saturday, October 17, 2020 - 4:27 PM

John H. Schumacher, 60, of Park Rapids, MN passed away Wednesday, October 14, 2020 peacefully at his home. Livin’ the Dream and embracing each day to the fullest in the face of cancer.

A man who was dedicated, faithful, and true to his life’s calling, of making an impact on everyone he met. John wore many hats in life, and fulfilled each of his roles with true grace, character, and love. His presence will always be felt and known to his family, friends, and the many students and athletes that were blessed to have Big Schu in their lives.

John was born on March 14, 1960 to John & Mary (Merrick) Schumacher in Minneapolis, MN. He attended Forest Lake High School and graduated in 1978. He pursued his life’s calling of being an educator and coach at Bemidji State University, earning his Physical Education and Health degree while also playing Football and Basketball for the Beavers.

John met his biggest cheerleader and love of his life, Bernie (De La Hunt) Schumacher while attending college. They were united in marriage on August 20, 1983 in Nevis, MN. John & Bernie moved to Sleepy Eye, MN where he was a Physical Education Teacher and Head Football Coach at Sleepy Eye St. Mary’s. Their family grew in April of 1985 when their daughter Tavia was born. The growing family moved to Park Rapids, MN in 1987 where John became the Aquatics Director and Physical Education Teacher at Park Rapids High School. The Schumacher family was complete in December of 1987 with the birth of Nicole (Nikki).

John continued his education and received his Master’s degree and Administrative degree. He then was hired as the Activities Director/Dean of Students at Park Rapids in 2004. He eventually became the Assistant Principal/Activities Director until his retirement in 2019. Even in his retirement, John’s voice could be heard loudly, as he cheered on his Panthers. He truly bled Orange and Black. John was also involved in many organizations throughout the community of Park Rapids. He was a member of St. Peter's Catholic Church, Knights of Columbus, Sons of the American Legion, Becker County Dive & Rescue, and the Hubbard County First Responders.

John’s passion was coaching and he loved being in the gym, on the field, or at the track. He was involved in many organizations that encompassed supporting high school athletics throughout his life. He became the Executive Director of the Minnesota State High School Coaches Association in 2018 and held this position until his passing. He was also a part of the MSHSL, MnIAAA, NOCAD, and NHSCA organizations. It was the love and support that he received from these organizations, the community, school staff, administrators, along with students and athletes that gave him a purpose and reason to fight!

John’s greatest joy in life was his family! His wife of 37 years, Bernie, was his biggest supporter and caregiver throughout his life. They were each others’ soulmates, as they fulfilled their vows, through sickness and health, in good and bad. He was the proudest father watching his daughters follow in his footsteps, as teachers and coaches. Beaming with pride when he watched them coach and when hearing about their impact as teachers. His pride was his five grandbabies, enjoying every moment he had with them. We will always treasure our walks to get the mail, days on the lake, ranger rides and snuggles in his recliner. We will smile while reminiscing about all these special memories that we were blessed to have with him.

Even in the hardest days during his battle with cancer, John never let it beat down his positive attitude. May we all strive to find the joys in life and remember to keep “Livin’ the Dream.”

He is survived by his wife, Bernie (De La Hunt) of Park Rapids, MN; his daughters: Tavia (Andrew) Bachmann of Frazee, MN; Nikki (Kiel) Fechtelkotter of Klamath Falls, OR; Grandchildren: Noah, Ashton & Jayden Bachmann, Avery & Ellie Fechtelkotter; his mother: Mary Schumacher of Forest Lake, MN; his sisters: Meg (Jim) Jensen of Forest Lake, MN; Ann (Scott) Leverington of Roseau, MN; Amy Schumacher of Forest Lake, MN; his father & mother-in-law: Ed & Carol De La Hunt of Park Rapids, MN; his brother & sister-in-laws: Cindy (Rick) Jacobson of Gainesville, VA; Julie (Brad) Wilson of Moorhead, MN; Gene (Jim) Kanten, Edward “Butch” (Tammy) De La Hunt, David (Jolene) De La Hunt all of Park Rapids, MN; Matt De La Hunt of Arnold, MO; and Richard “Dick” De La Hunt of Bemidji, MN; along with numerous nieces, nephews, aunts & uncles.

He is preceded in death by his father, John Schumacher, Sr; Infant sisters: Mary Schumacher & Mary Elizabeth Schumacher; his paternal and maternal grandparents and his Uncle Ken Jansen.

A public viewing will be held on Tuesday, October 20, 2020 from 4:00-8:00 PM at Cease Family Funeral Home in Park Rapids, MN with strict COVID social distancing protocol.

A private family Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Wednesday at St. Peter the Apostle Catholic Church in Park Rapids, MN.

Friends and community members are invited to participate as spectators, lining the streets, as the funeral procession travels past the Century School and the Park Rapids Area High School. You may line the streets on Helten Street, Monico Lane, or on Huntzinger Ave. The plan is to start the procession promptly at 2 PM on Wednesday, October 21. Your respect and support is greatly appreciated as John travels one last time by the school which was so important to him during his life, before being laid to rest in a private family burial ceremony at the St. Peter’s Catholic Cemetery in Park Rapids, MN.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorials to the future John Schumacher “Livin’ the Dream” Memorial Scholarship Fund, donation checks are requested to be made out to Bernie Schumacher until the fund is legally established. This account is set up at Citizen’s National Bank.

To view the private family funeral service live on Wednesday, October 21st at 12:00pm please access the link listed here (will be linked closer to the funeral date).

The family is hoping to have a public Celebration of Life this summer to honor John and celebrate his legacy.

Arrangements are being handled by the Cease Family Funeral Home of Park Rapids. Friends may leave online condolences at

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