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Reyer Jacob (aka Jack) Schat
Informal graveside services for Reyer Jacob (aka Jack) Schat are scheduled for 12:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 28 at the Ukiah Cemetery. A gathering of family and friends will follow at The Todd Grove room located at the Ukiah Golf Course.
Born in the city of Utrecht, Holland on June 7, 1934, Jack died Jan. 15, 2011 in his home in Brookings, Ore.
Jack packed a lot of living into his 76 years beginning with vivid memories of the Nazi occupation of Holland during WWII. He had stories to tell of his father’s efforts in the Dutch underground, some narrow escapes in helping Jewish fugitives, and the near famine conditions of the last year of the war. He was born into a family that already had three generations of bakers and he indeed followed in their footsteps. At the age of 15, he started his first job working 85 hours a week for a baker in a neighboring village for a room (the storage loft of the bakery), food and 50 cents a week.
A year later, the month of his 16th birthday, he immigrated to the United States. Jack was one of the last to pass through Ellis Island before it was closed. Several years later he proudly sponsored the immigration of his parents and siblings.
Jack’s service in the armed forces just missed the Korean conflict but put him back in Europe as part of U.S. occupation forces in Germany. He was so proud to wear the uniform of an American soldier – especially in Germany.
Back in the U.S. he took up baking again, working for established bakeries and then launched into business on his own with a bakery in Palos Verdes. His baking career spanned a total of 55 years and ended in Fort Bragg, where Sunset Magazine featured him in their “Best in the West” publication of June 1993.
Jack was a self-made man with a bright intellect, a strong-willed determination, a fierce independence, a quick wit, lively humor and a don’t-mess-with-me attitude. Jack was generous hearted and quick to reach out with help for others. He was proud of his daughter Valerie’s success and her amazing resolve. He very much enjoyed watching his sons become amazing bakers carrying on the baking skills into the fifth generation of Schats. Also, there came the time that he made his peace with God during his last months of living.
He is survived by his wife, Christine; daughter, Valerie; son, Brian; son, Zachary; daughter-in-law, Melissa; and three stepchildren, Janet, Kim and Joe. Between them there are also 21 grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren that he enjoyed. Other remaining family members are his brothers, Adrian and Erick; two sisters, Lietje van Overeem and Marion Nelson; and numerous nieces and nephews and great-nephews and great-nephews. Dear friends of many decades include Bill and Shirley Stoker, Ed Anderson, Vaughn and Linda Hopkins, Harry and Sev Evans, Ken Knerr, and George Izumi. We will miss him.
Jack often said, “Leave them laughing, or leave them crying.” He did both.
Memorial donations in Jack Schat’s name can be made to Teen Challenge, 2400 N. Craig Rd., Spokane, WA 99224.
Arrangements are under the direction of the Eversole Mortuary, 141 Low Gap Rd., Ukiah, CA 95482; (707) 462-2206.