JONESPORT – John R. Schmidlin, 85, of Machias, passed away at a Jonesport Nursing home on Tuesday, April 13.

He was the son of Carl Edward and Dorothy Jones Schmidlin. He attended Alden High School, Alden, N.Y. He graduated from the University of Maine in 1949, and went on to complete a master of arts degree at the University of Michigan (1950), and later received a certificate of advanced studies back at Orono in 1970.

While at Maine, he played football and basketball and was a member of Alpha Tau Omega, Phi Epsilon Kappa, Pall Blue Key, and Senior Skulls.

During World War II, he saw service in Europe and South America while with the 1st Allied Airborne Army as a sergeant from 1943 to 1945.

During 17 years at Gardiner High School, he coached football, basketball and baseball and was director of athletics and head of physical education. His football teams won two state championships and several years of high rankings including four Kennebec Valley Conference championships.

In 1967, he moved to the University of Maine at Machias as assistant professor of physical education, sirector of athletics and physical education, head coach of basketball and cross country. He was responsible for the design and planning of the Reynolds Physical Education Athletic Complex at the University of Maine – Machias. During his tenure the athletic program was expanded to include soccer, women’s volleyball, women’s basketball, baseball, men’s basketball golf and cross country.

He held memberships in the Maine Association of Health, Physical Education and Recreation, The National College Physical Education Association, Maine College Basketball Coaches & Writers Association, and the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletic Directors. He was particularly prominent in the High School Coaches Association as a charter member and past president of the board of directors where he served as executive secretary – treasurer for 26 years. He was also a charter member of the Sports Hall of Fame of the University of Maine.

In 1982, he was honored by the East-West Seniors All-Star Basketball Committee for service to the sport of basketball. Also in 1982, the Kennebec Athletic Conference honored him for continued support of high school athletics and faithful service to the conference. The Maine Interscholastic Directors Association honored him for outstanding and dedicated contributions to Maine Interscholastic Athletics as a teacher coach and athletic director.

Also in 1982, he was honored by the Maine High School Coaches Association for his many years of dedicated service. He received thanks for being the thread and driving force that helped hold the association together for many years. In 1995 the state of Maine Chapter of the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame presented him with the “Contribution to Amateur Football” award which is given to a Maine resident whose life epitomizes dedication to amateur football.

He is survived by his wife, Betty R. Schmidlin of Machias (married 1949); sister, Mrs. Dorothy C. Easton of Falmouth; and several nieces and nephews.

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