John Hanson Schuman January 19, 1951 to March 21, 1998
Beloved husband of Belinda Jane Schuman
Married on October 23, 1996
In LovingRemembrance
JHS in Freefall
The LostAce
John is survived by his mother, Mary Schuman,
his brother Jim "shooz" Schuman
his sisters Mary Dale Harder and Jeannette Simonson
his nieces Stacy, Calypso, Adrianna, Morgan, Altaire,
his dog Irene,
and all of you who loved him too.
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We have all lost an "ace" with John's death. It's incomprehensible as to WHY this happened to such a wonderful, giving, terrific man in the prime of his life. The best we can do now is remember his love of life and how he lived everyday to it's fullest.

John certainly was the "ace" of my life. Our marriage helped each of us become whole; our friends could attest to that! We told each other every day how happy we were with our marriage. John often told me that if he died now, he would be happy because he had finally found true, everlasting love (and, of course, become a "Sky God"). The night before his death we spoke of our love and how much we meant to each other. We literally said the words "till death do us part." My only regret with John is the shortness of our marriage. We were aiming for at least 20 years....

I thank each of you for coming and showing your love of John today [March 28, 1998]. His death is a huge loss to all of us. If you feel comfortable writing your favorite memory of John, I would certainly love to include it in his Memory Book.

Belinda Schuman

Now is the season of stillness,
our time for reflection and rest.
One day, the sadness will begin to melt.
On this March 28, 1998, many of John's friends spoke about their memories about John...
....There was always room for one more chair at John's table....some story or idea that he extrapolated on them at length....carbon atoms, stick people, flying...."plainsman school," John's skydiving language, an new species of stick people as he would like to call them. Much like John, it wasn't simple but it was complete....
Justin Clark

....Just looking around this room, I see so many people that I've never seen before­such a cross section apparently of every conceivable type of person there probably is.....He was a teacher and what makes him a little different than most teachers was that he was also a learner....he would continue to learn. He would aggressively and relentlessly pursue grasping of knowledge that he could then pass on to everyone else that was willing to listen and sometimes we were and sometimes we might of changed the subject...
Britt Alley
Britt met John in 1971 as one of his first jump students.

....I thought about John and everytime I thought about him I got a smile on my face because that's what John did for me. .... John was a was not his priority...John saw things at least 10-15 years [in the future]....There was only 2 square parachutes on the drop zone or 3 maybe, and John said that someday there'll be square mains and reserves....He said they'll be doing 100 man formations someday. John, we can't even get a 10-way together. John was right again. Always the visionary, always the artist, always the one that was there, the strong one, always willing to be your friend. ...
Dale Boyer
Dale also met John in 1971 as one of his first jump students.

John's suitcase ....sometimes you run into people that seem larger than life. I ran into one such person in the fall of 1973 at a drop zone in Herrington. His name was John Schuman. ... Not one of 100s of students he trained over the years will ever forget his excitement at their first jump as he grabbed them up, looked into their eyes and shouted "Wasn't that just great!" .... If he was not drawing and illustrating, he was writing about what he had seen and what he had done. He had an intense need to capture the essence of the aerial sport to which he had devoted his life. ... I was at a weekend boogie and received a resounding slap on the back. I turned to see who it was and found that same damn hypie standing there on the DZ with his suitcase in his hand....
Rex Westmeyer

Rex was involved with the KU Parachute Club and he had met John in 1973.

...I stepped outside and when the canopies opened from the group from that load, I could hear everybody whooping and hollerin', whistlin'. I knew at that moment that this was the sport for me. That jump happened to be John's 500th jump...I knew right away that that was the guy that I wanted to take me skydiving [first jump]....John, for all his size and strength, was also a gentleman. He cared about people. He was willing to share himself. You felt comfortable saying anything to John. He was never afraid to be anything other than himself. ...
Jim Baker
Jim met John in October 1971 as one of his first jump students.

...Like many real artists, John was not always easily understood by those around him. What was easy to understand about John though was his commitment and dedication to discovering the art in skydiving....The air in his face out the door was his canvas.....
Bob Johnson

....John and Belinda's relationship were the couple of those drops that King Author spoke of as ones that really do seem to sparkle in the sea of life....They each held one another on a pedestal....observing that relationship unfold over the months...has provided a great model in terms of what caring, naturing and loving is all about....
Don Deshler
Don is Belinda's boss at work and is not a skydiver.

...I always knew that if it came from John, it was advice I better follow. He never gave me advice if I didn't need it and everytime he gave it I did need it. Guaranteed...
John Musgrave
John Musgrave met John in 1973.

Hubert while skysurfing
Photo by JHS
....Everybody in the flying world knows Chuck Yeager...John Schuman, he was a Chuck Yeager in skydiving....
Hubert Trimmel
Captain, Vanguard Airlines

...He was a very incredible man, very inspirational and a very powerful force for good...John wanted people to improve....on that demo. Later on, that day, he said "Dave, I went head-down, then I went to a flying T, looked over, deployed my parachute, and I looked over again and there was a black hawk flying with me." And now, he had reminded me what the sport is about....
Dave Peuster
Dave met John in 1985 in association with the KU Parachute Club.

....He was a father to me and my older brother and sister and a father to a lot of our friends...He never gave up on us; always pushing us in that direction and when we wanted to quit and, by golly, we should never, never quit, not till we were done...
Rita Bullock
John's daughter

Jamie Paul holding piece of wood.

....John did me a big favor. He helped me build my office at my airport....John could slap up timber like, I mean, no one. John knew his craft....I bought his airline ticket down there [for the Freefly Festival 1996 in Eloy] and to me it was like a deposit on a huge thank you. ...John, as you know who he is, couldn't just take that....John came over to give me this gift, it was Christmas Eve I believe...this was no ordinary piece of you could hold this piece of wood and check out all the wood grain. ....On that piece of paper was a gravity photo number 1... He was on another plane and he could see things in everyday objects that one would never even contemplate. So on that piece of paper it described, he gave a quote by somebody that started out "Art and somethin"....Everytime I read this I found something new in there........[As Jamie's grandma commented,] "That's a gift of love."

....He never really made any big deal about any favor he did ya...he wouldn't stay around long for thank yous or anything....he just wanted to do something for you and that was the love. ...

Jamie Paul

Jamie met John in 1988.

...All you people in here don't know me but I know your names because one thing John talked about all the while he was skydiving....when I grew up in the air force, I lived on a island in the open Atlantic Ocean in a chain called Acors. On a flight runway there, when the storms would roll in....a command hill up there the wind would rush right up it....We could go up there. As the wind rushed up there, you could lean down this hill and the wind would hold you up. And then when the storms really came in you could run and jump off this hill and the wind would just pick you up and carry you back up over it. Well, I became fascinated by the wind....The wind's been a big big part of my life [and] in my poetry....His [John's] relation to the wind was in the sky...

...He cried all the time "man, I got nothin' but rags and I'm jumpin' on 'em." But he couldn't afford it [the latest gear]. John paid his way. He didn't ask for anybody else to pay his way.....He stuck with somethin'. Once he began somethin' he committed to it, he stuck to it. He never gave up on it....

Pat Lindeman

....John was a true human being...
Joseph Conrad
Belinda's father

A MEES workshop The first warm-up exercise of the MEES program involved practicing directional, carving and shape flow movements. MEES stands for "Movement Efficiency Exercises for Skydivers," which John believed would help skydivers perform better in freefall. I first met John in 1992 when he was planning the MEES program with Janet Hamburg. I admired him for his dreams and particularly for his passion that he had for pursuing his dreams. The MEES program was just one of John's many creative and innovative views he wished to express and share with his fellow friends and skydivers.
Tamara Koyn

Charles read Tamara's message while she performed the first MEES warm up exercise.

...If you want the Magic John Award, you have to complete this with video and send us a copy and we will send you a patch, the Magic John patch...If you need a copy of this dive, just write me or fax me and I'll fax it straight on over to you. It's impossible. This dive is impossible. John, you know, he's just impossible...

...The diving part of his book escaped me but what I did relate to was his images of Kansas. Now, that we shared those words with him on this little editing project provided me with a whole new way of looking at my native Kansas and its landscape.
Jeanette Simonson
Jeanette was the editor on "The Grey Area of Flight." If you would like to order a copy of "The Grey Area of Flight," please write Belinda Schuman for more information.

...John was a bright light in the road of life...
Keith Gattenby
Keith met John around 1993.

John and Belinda Schuman

....The last thing John ever wrote was a letter inviting the media to interview him... John wanted the world to know about skydiving....He wanted skydiving to become as popular as basketball..."I want to become the James Naismith of skyball," a game he invented for 4-6 people who would toss a ball around in the sky! falling down! at 180mph!...

....He has many many dreams and one of them was reviving the parachuting exhibit at the Kansas Art Museum...don't let that dream die...He wanted to buy a rig called Smitty's rig... (If you know who is responsible for this project, please send information to Tamara Koyn. Thank you.)

...He was also a hero on the ground...Everybody here today was loved by John in someway. John had a heart as big as the sky, which, of course, he also loved. John treated everybody fairly and honestly regardless of how they treated him....

...And if you believe in souls, you'll understand that John and I were two souls coming together as one....

Belinda Schuman
beloved wife

Life is like a floating cloud which appears. Death is like a floating cloud which disappears. A floating cloud itself does not originally exist. Life and death, coming and going are also like this. But there is one thing which always remains clear. And pure and clear not depending on life and death. So I ask you what is this one pure and clear thing?
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Web Site Posted in 1998.