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John Schmitt, Noted Catholic Educator, Dies at Age 84

schmitt1John S. Schmitt, an advocate of classical Catholic education and the main founder of Trivium School in Lancaster, MA, died Wednesday night with his family by his bedside. He was 84.

Many current and former Ave Maria University students attended Trivium School. and current AMU faculty members Michael and Catherine Pakaluk have taught there.

Mr. Schmitt founded Trivium school in 2979 with his wife, Louise, who survives him. He erved as its headmaster until 2000, then as chair of the board of trustees until last year.

He was born in Norwalk, CT and after serving in the U.S. Navy, obtained his B.A. and Master of Arts from Harvard and began his career as an educator. He taught in several schools including Millbrook School and Colorado Rocky Mountain School before founding Thomas More School in Harrisville, NH, serving as its headmaster until it closed in 1971. From 1974-1979 he served on the faculty of Thomas Aquinas College in Santa Paula, CA. 

"Throughout his distinguished career, Mr. Schmitt was dedicated in faith to providing a classical Catholic education to young men and women," said one of his sons, Dr. William Schmitt, who currently is headmaster at Trivium School.

In addition to Louise, his wife of 54 years, and William, he is survived by seven other children, 40 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.


Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at St. John the Evangelist Church, 80 Union St., Clinton, MA. Memorial contributions may be made in memory of John S. Schmitt to Trivium School.


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