Reyer "Jack" Jacob Schat - age: 76
(June 07, 1934 to January 15, 2011 )
Resident of Brookings, Oregon
Reyer Jacob Schat (aka Jack) died January 15, 2011 in his home in Brookings, OR.
Jack was born in the city of Utrecht, Holland June 7, 1934. He 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 room (the storage loft of the bakery), food, and 50 cents a week.
A year later, the month of his sixteenth 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 US 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, CA. His baking career spanned a total of fifty-five years and ended in Fort Bragg, CA. where Sunset Magazine featured him in their “Best in the West” publication of
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 step-children Janet, Kim and Joe. Between them there are also twenty one grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren that he enjoyed. Other remaining family members are his brothers Adrian and Erick and two sisters Lietje van Overeem and Marion Nelson. 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.
Informal graveside services are scheduled for Friday, January 28, 2011 at 12:30 p.m. at the Ukiah Cemetery. Gathering of family and friends to follow at The Todd Grove room located at the Ukiah Golf Course.
Memorial donations in Jack Schat’s name can be made to Teen Challenge 2400 No. Craig Rd Spokane Wa. 99224