Jeff P. Schmitt, 1954-2018

For many years, Jeff Schmitt has been a local celebrity. Although we never met him in person, we did briefly meet his son Jay, who worked at Sam Goody at the mall in 2003. Through meeting Jay and living in the Dayton area, it felt as if we knew Jeff Schmitt in a small way.

Recently, Jeff Schmitt passed away (his obituary). While at lunch, he suffered a heart attack that eventually led to his passing. Jeff had suffered some health issues in recent years, including needing a new kidney, which he received from his son Jay.

Jeff was dedicated to customer service, entering the auto business in 1976 and learning much of what he knew from business partner Jack Huelsman. After Jack died unexpectedly in 2000, Jeff bought the two dealerships, Huelsman Chevrolet-Oldsmobile and Huelsman Nissan.

Jack was my best friend for 20 years,” Jeff Schmitt said. “I never thought that someday I’d end up with my name on the sign.

By 2003, Jeff Schmitt Auto Group had 3 dealerships, and has since expanded into 8 dealerships with 450-500 employees that sold 8,350 cars locally in 2017. According to the Dayton Business Journal, they are the largest Dayton auto dealer.

Jeff’s son Jay, who you may know from recent commercials, released a statement saying in part, “Jeff showed his love for cars early on as he began buying and selling them from neighbors prior to even being able to drive. His automotive career began in the seventies as a Salesperson at the Lang’s Chevrolet in Fairborn, which is where our corporate office now stands. Jeff dedicated his life to the pursuit of his goal: to become an auto dealer.

To Laura, Jeff’s wife of 43 years; his daughter Stephanie; his son Jay; and his many friends and family members: We are so sorry for your loss.

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