Mary Jane (Matthias) Schmeits, “Jani,” “Janie”

Mary Jane “Jani”, “Janie” (Matthias) Schmeits

August 17, 1951 – January 4, 2021

Janie was preceded in death by her father, Arthur Matthias; mother, Thelma Brodecky; step-mother, Virginia Gifford; step-father, Harold Gifford; brothers, Allen Gifford and Arthur Mickey Matthias; many beloved aunts, uncles, and cousins. She also deeply mourned the loss of several babies through miscarriage.

She is survived by her children: Sean Schmeits Harding (Mariel), Nicole Geiler (Michael), Chad Schmeits (Kristin), and Evan Klein Schmeits (Abbey Jo); grandchildren: Phoebe Haney, Wilson and Chester Geiler, Easton, Ryker, and Remi Schmeits, and Anya Mary Schmeits Harding; her favorite Grandpuppy, Willie Nelson; Dad, Jim Brodecky (Marci); sisters, Nancy Agamennone (Keith) and Char Henderson; brothers, John (Anita) and Jeff Brodecky; countless other beloved family members and dear friends.

VISITATION following CDC guidelines: Friday, January 15th, from 5:00pm to 7:00pm at the West Center Chapel, 7805 W. Center Rd. in Omaha.  CELEBRATION OF LIFE SERVICE: Saturday, January 16th at 2pm at the West Center Chapel.  Memorials may be directed to Hearts United for Animals; Bethlehem House; and The Rose Theater.

To view a live broadcast of the service, please to go and click the “View Live Service” button on the homepage.

Strict Covid-19 safety precautions will be in place. Masks are required in the city of Omaha.

Mary Jane (Janie) Schmeits, age 69, went to be with her Lord on January 4th, 2021. She was born Mary Jane Matthias on August 17, 1951 in Washington, D.C. to Thelma Louise Lykins and Arthur LeLand Matthias. Her childhood was spent in Washington, D.C. and Friend, Crete, and Lincoln, Nebraska. She graduated in 1970 from Lincoln High School. During her school years, she was proud of having been a cheerleader, gymnast, and competitive roller skater.

She married Jan Paul Schmeits on July 28, 1973. They lived initially in Shawnee Mission, KS just outside of Kansas City, where her oldest son, Sean, was born. In 1978, they moved to Fremont, NE where daughter Nicole was born. The family moved to Columbus, NE in 1981, where they would live for nearly 40 years and where sons Chad and Evan were born.

In Columbus, she began her career as a dental assistant, performed leading roles in Platte Valley Playhouse productions of The Fantasticks and Fiddler on the Roof, and regularly sang in choirs and singing groups. She loved singing, sewing, and crocheting. She always said her greatest aspiration was to be a mother and greatest accomplishments were her four children.

Her children remember her irreverent sense of humor, her devotion to her kids and grandkids, her beautiful voice, her kind and indulgent nature, and her embarrassing pride at their accomplishments, no matter how small. She was always the team mom, biggest fan, event chaperone, or cheerleading sponsor at her childrens’ schools. She attended different churches throughout her life and her Christian faith was always important to her. She loved feeding people and is remembered for many favorite recipes, especially desserts. She also loved animals – most recently, her dearly beloved dog, Buddy.

In the final decades of her life, she experienced a series of health challenges which limited her ability to do her favorite activities. It’s comforting to know Janie is free from these trials. We imagine her in heaven singing, dancing, rocking babies, sewing, crocheting, collecting knick knacks and exercise equipment, and not cleaning a single thing.


  • Diane Sutko Posted January 9, 2021 7:01 pm

    Dear Jan and kids, I’m so sorry to hear of Janie’s passing. I fondly remember being young moms and getting out families together. My prayers are with you.

  • Laurel Seevers (Fruhwirth) Posted January 9, 2021 7:23 pm

    I’m so sorry to hear about the loss of Jani. She was always so sweet and caring. My prayers are with your whole family.

  • Larry & Cheryl Mundt Posted January 10, 2021 10:09 am

    Our hearts and prayers are with all at this time.

  • Brian and Deb Konecky Posted January 10, 2021 1:54 pm

    So sorry to hear of Jani’s passing. We have you all in our thoughts and prayers. God’s blessings to you during this difficult time.

  • Sid & Paula Rueter Posted January 10, 2021 7:10 pm

    So sorry for all the family! Prayers.

  • Bernie and Mary Anne Fleischacker Posted January 13, 2021 12:25 am

    Jan and family,
    Our sincere condolences to all of you on your loss. We know that Janie will be greatly missed. May your memories of her warm your hearts in the days and years to come.

  • Mike & Barb Siedlik Posted January 13, 2021 8:58 am

    Our Thoughts and Prayers are with you all.

  • Clayton and Beverly Lange Posted January 13, 2021 10:27 am

    Jan and Family

    We are so sorry to hear about the loss of Jani.
    You have our deepest heartfelt sympathy.
    Jani was always so warm and inviting and she did so much for others!
    May your memories keep her in your hearts. May God Bless you all during this difficult time!

  • Jan & Mike Moser Posted January 13, 2021 8:49 pm

    So sorry for your loss. Janie had many talents…sewing ‘cabbage patch’ dolls for our girls, cooking and baking yummy food, helping with anything she could. We always felt the kids were in good hands if she was around. Sean, Nicole, Chad, and Evan, she always had your best interests at heart in everything she did. Our sympathies to all who loved her. May she Rest In Peace.

  • Ranae Krajewski Posted January 15, 2021 12:42 pm

    Nicole & all family — I am so deeply sorry for your loss and count myself blessed to have known Janie. I will be forever grateful to her and Jan for bringing my greatest fiend, Nicole, into the world. I rejoice in Janie’s heavenly reunions and permanent freedom from ailments. Blessings, Ranae

  • Rachelle and Jay Kuhl Posted January 15, 2021 4:06 pm

    Our sympathy to all. Let all the good memories give you peace at this time.

  • Peggy Hinze Posted January 15, 2021 6:50 pm

    Jan and family, my deepest sympathy and blessings to you all.

  • Derek and Steph Trutna Posted January 16, 2021 9:34 am

    So sorry to hear about the loss of your mom. She was a great lady. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your families.

  • Patty Loseke Posted January 16, 2021 1:03 pm

    My sincere sympathy to you Jan and family. Worked with Jani a long time ago and I know how happy and proud she was of her family. Loving memories are gifts left behind to cherish. Rest in heavenly peace Jani!

  • ‘Greg & Barb Goerke Posted January 17, 2021 10:01 am

    Jan and Family,
    We were deeply saddened to hear of Janie’s passing. We have some wonderful memories of shared time together a long time ago. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Blessings
    Greg & Barb

  • Jane and Bob Patterson Posted January 19, 2021 6:32 pm

    We are sorry for your loss. We were able to stream the service, What a wonderful tribute to a great mom and Grammy.

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