MINNEHAHA COUNTY, S.D. (KELO) – Loved ones are mourning the loss of Steve Schmidt of Harrisburg, who passed away suddenly in October at the age of 47. He has three kids, and their mother Kim says they meant everything to him.

“Amazing father,” Kim Schmidt said. “His children were his whole world.”

Schmidty, as he was affectionately known, coached a lot of kids for the Midwest Miners youth football club. And he was more than just “coach.”

“They were all his kids,” Kim Schmidt said. “He had a huge passion for football, and he felt strongly that that was what helped him succeed in life.”

Marlon Lobban of Sioux Falls coached with him.

“More than anything he made me feel like a leader,” Lobban said. “He showed me what leadership looks like.”

“He filled a room,” Kim said. “His persona was more than just a big man; his booming voice, his laughter really characterized who he was as a person. He had an amazing ability to connect with people instantly.”

His kids have seen the kind of man he was. His 15-year-old daughter Jaylen says he made her feel joy.

“Very happy in life,” Jaylen said. “Very strong and confident.”

“All of the things that he did, whether it was hiring someone right off the street, giving someone a car so they can get to work, all of these things they’ve watched over the years,” Kim said.

But don’t just take their word for it; Schmidty’s three kids emulate him. Lobban is vowing to do the same.

“That’s the feedback I get at school,” Kim said. “They’re always the kid to help someone out.”

“That’s my goal, is to continue to lead the way he would have led,” Lobban said.