John Herbert Schumacher

July 3, 1952January 9, 2021
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John Herbert Schumacher, age 68, of Littleton, Colorado passed away on Saturday, January 9, 2021. John was born July 3, 1952 in Tacoma, Washington.

A viewing for John will be held Wednesday, January 20, 2021 from 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM at Olinger Chapel Hill Mortuary & Cemetery, 6601 South Colorado Blvd, Centennial, CO 80121, followed by a celebration of life from 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM.

The family will attempt to stream the event for those who cannot attend at:

Contributions in John's memory may be made to the Mission Hills Life Center, 5804 S. Datura St., Littleton, Co. 80120,

Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at: for the Schumacher family.

For those attending the service in-person, we only ask that everyone follow standard protocols with masks and social distancing. While we’d LOVE all the hugs, we ask that we all hold back for the time being. We hope to hold a bigger celebration of John's life and legacy at a later date.


  • Cameron Schumacher
  • Allison Schumacher
  • Mary Schumacher
  • Joe Schumacher
  • Jerry Schumacher
  • Andrew Koldeway


  • Viewing

    Wednesday, January 20, 2021

  • Celebration of Life

    Wednesday, January 20, 2021


John Herbert Schumacher

have a memory or condolence to add?

Jeff Watson

January 20, 2021

Gwen, family and friends - John Schumacher was a good friend from our early days in the Air Force JAG Corps (then Department). We were in the Air Force Officer Orientation Course (AFOOC) and JASOC Class 86B classes that were only a short 35 years ago. We both went overseas for our first duty assignments but our careers intersected in Colorado and we stayed in touch throughout the years. I enjoyed his books, "Mumbo Jumbo" and the "Seventh Psalm." He was a kind, funny and wise man. The world could use more folks like John, who left us too soon but on God's time. God bless you Gwen, Cameron and Allison. You all are in our hearts and thoughts!
Jeff and Judy Watson

Ed Rittenhouse

January 20, 2021

I am John’s brother in law. I married his youngest sister, Anne, in 1978. Anne and I moved to Seattle so would only see John (and Gwen) during Christmas or summer trips to Aurora in the early 1980s. I really didn’t get to know John very well until he completed his Airforce JAG work and went to work in DC at ATF. John and Gwen hosted our family at their home over Christmas in 1999. John would take us into town on the way to work, drop us off at Smithsonian, Memorials, etc. He would pick us up in 2 hours then he would drop us off at the next place to see. The tours were highlighted when we went to the ATF for a live Thompson Machine Gun shooting demonstration. John had them make Christmas ornaments with our pictures in them. What a host. It was during that trip John and I got to know each other well and would exchange emails over the years to keep in touch.
During Johns last several years with OSHA and the NTSB he would travel to Seattle for some of the hearings. John would spend a few days with us when he had the time. We would smoke some cigars and drink some Newcastle Nut Brown Ale that he introduced me to. During these visits I would learn more about world history and family history than I could every find out on my own. He had an amazing amount of knowledge and just Loved to “chew the fat”. I will certainly miss those sessions.
He always had a good joke, sometimes a little bit risqué to be in a judges email but he would send them anyway. One of his favorites was the Lost Dog Add:
• Large Yellow Lab,
• Missing left rear leg,
• Right eye gone,
• Tail bent from door accident,
• Cant hear in right ear, firecracker.
• Goes by the name of LUCKY!!!

Gwen, Allison, Cameron, Johanna and Liam:
We are so sad that John has left us. Our hearts are with you all. I, in particular, will miss John and will hoist a Newcastle and smoke a really expensive Cuban in his memory.
Love, Ed, Anne, Michael and David

Celeste Gamache

January 19, 2021

I waited a couple of days to write this because I couldn't believe it. I knew John as a Judge Advocate. We were stationed together in DC. After he left, we stayed in contact. Once I retired from the AF and returned to Colorado and John was in Colorado, we met for lunch several times and John gave me some great advice about looking for my next job. I always appreciated his friendship and advice. About a year ago I got a new job and I intended to call John and tell him about it. I feel sad that I will never have the opportunity. While I never met the rest of his family, my condolences to them. Please let me know when you intend to have your larger service for John as I cannot attend on Jan 20th.

Allison Schumacher

January 19, 2021

If you ever met him, his goodbye would be a handshake and a “glad you got to meet me, the pleasure was all yours” If you ever called he’d answer with a “this is heaven, God speaking”. He loved nothing more in life than a good pun, embarrassing his kids, silly postcards and telling inappropriate jokes. Oh, and the Simpsons. Classic Johnny Shoe.
Like all good kids, we gave him tons of grief. But he was a great dad and an even better grandpa. His face would light up at the sight of Liam and even when he didn’t have the strength, he would scoop him up with every chance he got. Sadly, he was just a few weeks shy of meeting his granddaughter. But we know he would have adored her and she would’ve had him wrapped around her finger.
For a man who gave 40 years of service to his country, earning countless awards and medals- you would never know it. I’m 32 and just now learning of things he has seen and some of his many accomplishments in life. But again, you’d never know it by looking at him - driving a beat up mini van and wearing thrift store clothes. He silently taught us how to be humble.
He lived many lifetimes and saw the world. Then he shared that world with his wife and kids. Unlike his own childhood, we never went without and we were very privileged to have him; from clothes to toys to traveling around the world. He taught us we wouldn’t get everything we wanted, but we always got what we needed - with some bonuses sprinkled in.
68 years young and was taken too soon. He won’t meet his newest grandbaby and we won’t share a dance at my wedding some day, but he will always be with us. Any good pun or dirty joke will now be followed by a laugh and a “dad would’ve liked that one”
So here's to you, Pops. Rest easy knowing you raised good kids, you were mom’s soulmate and Bear misses you but knows his new job is to take care of her now. We'll have a good German beer in your honor, your Honor.
We love you.
Despite our objections, your final court is adjourned.

Alexis Ramsey

January 19, 2021

I met Mr. Schumacher when I was 12 or so, and I remember his monotone voice cracking jokes and poking fun of me and Allison and her friends. You couldn’t help but laugh though because his delivery was so spot on, and since his voice was so low, you were forced to pay attention to him roasting you. It was great. It’s hard to lose a parent, but it’s especially hard to lose someone who made such an impact on so many. Cheers!

Ned Benson

January 19, 2021

John and I served in the USAF JAG in the early 1990s at Lowry, AFB, CO. Boo and I were blessed by John and Gwen's friendship. We shared our service and our lives. John had the most unique wit of anyone I've known. And he was a kind soul. My favorite memory was our 'hunting' trip in the Colorado Rockies. While I did not hunt and did not have a gun, the camping and hiking with John, Cam, and John's ever-present humor created a weekend I've never forgotten. Gwen, you and your family are in our prayers. Peace. Ned.

Jennifer Rodi

January 19, 2021

We were blessed having Judge Schumacher in our office here in Denver. He was an amazing person and so incredibly kind. When you spoke with him, his full attention was right with you the entire time. He will be deeply missed - our most sincere condolences to his family and those who called him friend.

Greg Porter

January 17, 2021

I was so very sorry to hear of John’s passing. John and I were stationed in England at the same time, he at Bentwaters and I at Upper Heyford. We both became Area Defense Counsels and I was lucky enough to travel to Bentwaters and work with John on several cases. I loved my trips there, mainly so John and I could talk pubs and the great English beers we encountered and John could show me his latest pub “collectibles.” An outstanding lawyer and a generous and kind soul, I will miss him dearly. My deepest sympathies to his family – may John rest in peace.

Randy Snow

January 16, 2021

The news of John’s death brought with it sadness and a flood of memories of the kindness and friendship you and John have shown us over the years. From sponsoring us at Bentwaters and teaching us the Air Force ropes to managing JAG duty in D.C., your example and many acts of kindness lifted our spirits and lightened our load.
May you, Cameron and Allison be blessed and comforted at this time.
Randy & Ronda Snow

Bart Hillyer

January 15, 2021


So sorry to hear of John's passing. He was a wonderful, funny, generous guy, and a very skillful advocate. The cases we worked on together were great fun, and I learned a lot from him. The world has lost some of its brightness with him no longer in it.

Sincere condolences to you and all the family.

- Bart and Georgia Hillyer


John at 5 months with his Mom.


John already in his Air Force chair at 5 months.


December 1953 modeling his fur parka!


Johnny and Dad- Clayton


Future ATF attorney 1953


Johnny, future big game hunter posing with a caribou in 1954, Anchorage,AK


Hmmm kiss the moose Johnny!


"Seizing power in a bloodless coup at the Elmendorf AFB child care center 1953" per John


Family photo, with sister Mary joining the family. 1953


The Honorable John Herbert Schumacher, 68, of Littleton, Colorado, passed away on January 9th, 2021. He was called home after a brief illness.

John was born on July 3,1952, to Clayton and Lorraine Schumacher. Clayton was active-duty Air Force and John was born at McCord Air Force Base, Tacoma, Washington. At 6 weeks old John began his life-long exploration of the world as he traveled the Yukon Highway with his parents to his new home in Anchorage, Alaska. John attended school all over the United States and Germany. Exploring Germany during his youth was undoubtedly his favorite memory of his childhood. Clayton retired in Aurora, Colorado, and John was able to graduate from Aurora Central High School in 1970.

Military service called to John and he enlisted in the United States Navy in December, 1970. John spent 6 years active duty in the Navy. His most challenging and rewarding assignment was as a Helicopter Rescue Crewman saving the lives of downed pilots. He served aboard the USS Roosevelt as well as several bases along the East Coast.

In 1976 John decided to try civilian life and joined the Aurora Fire Department. His favorite job was being an arson investigator. During his civilian life he earned an Associates Degree in Fire Science and a B.A. in Business Administration from Columbia College. Then in 1979 he met the love of his life, Gwen Rogers. They were married on March 14, 1981, in Aurora, Colorado. John decided this might be a good time to pursue his dream of earning a law degree and he and Gwen were off to Lincoln, NE. He also decided this was a good time to join the United States Army reserves. John graduated with his Juris Doctorate in December, 1983. Then it was a return move home to Denver, CO where he welcomed his son, Cameron, into the world on March 5, 1984.

With his new law degree in hand John felt the call to return to active-duty military service. This time he decided to try a third branch, the United States Air Force. He accepted a commission into the Air Force Judge Advocate General Corps in January 1986. His first and most cherished assignment was at RAF Bentwaters, England. John and his family got to tour much of Europe while stationed overseas. At this time, he welcomed his daughter, Allison, to the world on February 10, 1988 in Ipswich, England. John was stationed several places during his career, Lowry/Denver, Hurlburt Field/Fort Walton Beach, FL. and finally the Pentagon/Washington DC. In 1998 John retired from active-duty Air Force as a Lt. Col.

After retiring from the Air Force, Lt. Col. John Schumacher joined the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) before earning his next title of Federal Administrative Law Judge. He started his judicial career with the Social Security Administration in Detroit, MI, before returning to Washington DC to work for Occupational Safety Health Administration. He worked at the Washington Office from 2005-2011. Once again, he was able to follow his heart and return home to Denver in 2011 at the Denver office of OSHRC. He joined the National Transportation Safety Board’s Denver ALJ Office in 2018. He retired from federal ranks after 40 years of honorable service in September 2020.

Education was always a love for John. He was constantly learning new things. If you traveled with him, it was like taking your own talking history book with you. During his career he also earned an MA in Business Administration from the University of Phoenix. His final degree, Masters of Judicial Studies, was awarded in 2017 from the University of Nevada/National Judicial College. He also wrote and published two books: Mumbo Jumbo; consisting of the Legal ABC’s as well as Seventh Psalm, which he co-authored with his friend Bruce Smith under the pen name Jonathan Bruce.

John is survived by his wife Gwen Rogers/Schumacher; Son Cameron (Johanna); Daughter Allison; sisters Mary Axtell (Dean) and Anne Rittenhouse (Ed); brothers Joe (Pam), Jim (Becky), Jerry (Amora); plus one grandson Liam.

John will be remembered for his love of family, education, and service to his country. He had a wonderful sense of humor and was the King of puns. If John was your friend, you had a loyal and generous friend for life.