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Carol Ann Schach

July 9, 1941 December 12, 2018
Carol Ann Schach
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Obituary for Carol Ann Schach

Once upon a time, where the redwood forest meets the sea, there lived a spiritual, dark-haired, olive- complexioned, ebony-black curious-eyed, lips-of-ruby-red beautiful woman. At age 77, she had upgraded to silver strands of hair, yet retained the supple skin of her youth. A natural beauty, with a soul that matched. Like her mother, Carol was always coiffed elegantly with colorfully coordinated outfits. The ocean had forever called her name, and for more years than not Carol resided by the sea.

Carol Ann Schach passed away December 12, 2018, in Crescent City, California, surrounded by loving family and friends.

A longtime North Coast resident, Carol was born July 9, 1941, in Illinois to Alfred and Beatrice Schimpf. When her father came home from World War II, he brought little Carol a rolling wooden duck on a string. Much to her mother’s dismay, she pulled this duck everywhere she went and kept it for the rest of her life. Carol grew up in Crystal Lake, Ill. She earned a Bachelor’s of Arts in sociology from Illinois Wesleyan University and graduated from the Glen Fishback School of Photography. She was employed at College of the Redwoods, Del Norte, and wrote a weekly column for a local paper. She also managed her husband’s law office for a brief time.

Carol led her daughter’s bluebird groups, her son’s cub scouts and taught at Sunday school. She thrived on researching genealogy with her grandchildren and collecting and pressing leaves and then writing stories about the leaves with her granddaughter. She enjoyed book recommendations from her Grandson. She was especially tickled that all eight of her grandchildren thought agates were as valuable as gold.

Carol was a well-known, prize-winning photographer, artist, poet and supporter of the arts. She loved the ocean, the redwoods, and the area rivers. She was an avid birder and naturalist who enjoyed her beautiful backyard gardens. Carol found her mentor in nature.

In 1986, she married, Gene Schach. Together they explored the Pacific Northwest highways and backroads, towns, mountains and beaches, capturing their journeys in Carol’s photographs and poems. For years they dedicated every Saturday to their field trips. Carol and Gene were soul mates and found great pleasure in celebrating life’s adventures together as best friends.

Carol had a close-knit group of friends, both locally and dating back to grade school. She valued her continued 70+ years of friendship with Karlith and Julie, her 50 years with Judy and 40 years with Lila and Maryann. She was a loyal friend and a skillful listener. She had a wonderful, unique sense of humor. She belonged to a writers group and dream analysis group and was a master Scrabble player. She appreciated hand-written letters and cards. Carol was a Bibliophile. A word wizard. She was curious and creative. In 2011 Carol fulfilled a lifelong dream when she completed her book, “Fleeting Miracles,” an inspiring collection of award-winning photographs, poems and prose. She hoped the book would encourage others to pay attention to their dreams, take time to notice nature, and honor their unique creativity. Her photos are displayed at the Gallery of Arts and Culture in Crescent City.

Music was another passion. Her living room was filled with instruments, including a piano, kalimbas, xylophones and hundreds of CDs. She helped underwrite concerts presented by the Del Norte Association for Cultural Awareness (DNACA) and loved musicals and theater. Her children recall cleaning their house with Neil Diamond blasting in the background. Carol excelled at singing lullabies and sang endless rounds of “Twinkle-Twinkle”, “Jesus Loves me”, “Swinging on a Star” for the first three weeks of her grandson’s life, which created a strong 15-year bond. “Grandma Carol” was morphed in to “Kako” and Carol happily took on her very own special name for “Grandma”.

Carol treasured family gatherings, harvesting her backyard apples and cooking organic foods. She was a bread baker for over 40 years, and we already miss the mouth-watering aroma of her warm bread coming out of the oven. Carol appreciated traditions and was like a kid in a candy store when her family showed up each year to celebrate the 4th of July. She remained a loyal fan of her home state Chicago Cubs and kept up her father’s collection of stamps and coins. She was digitally savvy, but for 30+ years she had no television, preferring instead to live in the moment.

She loved small town life, but when she visited Seattle her first stop was Nordstrom, where she fueled her love for style, and then on to shopping bookstores for hours. She always had a large and diverse stack of books within reach.

Daily walks searching for agates, especially on Pebble Beach near her cozy Crescent City home, were a must, regardless of weather. Carol’s young children coined her walks with Lila and Maryann, “the-walk”. Two days before her sudden death, Carol put 5,007 steps on her Fit Bit, reaching her daily goal. She never stopped her “stepping.” And she never ceased facing life’s challenges with courage, grace and humor.

A long-time fan of theater performances and musicals, Carol would travel far to watch her Grandson onstage. She had purchased what would be her very last Christmas gift and secured nine tickets to the musical ‘Annie” for December 22, 2018. She was to be seated in-between Angela and Jave at the matinee and the tune “I love you tomorrow….” will forever be extra special to her family.

On the 346th day of 2018, Carol passed away. Her grandson had often told her that she and Gene completed Christmas when they arrived to Seattle. And although devasted by Carol’s passing, her family chooses to believe that after 31 Christmases together, she joined Gene for Christmas #32. Carol’s favorite holiday tune was “Silent Night” and she always looked forward to lighting the candles at the Christmas Eve church service.

Carol is survived by her daughter Angela Ragan (Jeff Price), grandchildren Sam and Abby; son Jave Ragan (Varonica) grandchildren Jacob and Emily; stepsons Jeff Schach (Sandie) grandchildren Kevin, Tori and Tyler; and Kevin Schach (Paige) and granddaughter Emily. She was preceded in death by her beloved husband, Gene, and her parents. She is also survived by her “family of friends,” who loved and miss her. She was so grateful and always in awe of her Crescent City “family”.

At Carol’s request, no public services will be held. Memorial donations may be made to DNACA, PO Box 1480, Crescent City, CA 95531.

May you sleep in heavenly peace sweet mama.
“Free the artist within.
Embrace the light. Ascend and fly.”
Carol Schach, “Fleeting Miracles


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