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 www.heafeyheafey.com 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.