Beloved husband and father, Jerry Schwafel of Anacortes, WA, died on October 12, 2021, one month after his 87th birthday, after losing his battle with C. Diff (Clostridioides difficile bacterial infection).
Jerry lived a full and healthy life. His death leaves a deep void in the life of his wife, Pat, and the family. This abridged death notice only gives a glimpse of the highlights of his life. A full tribute will be available at its memorial in the Evans Funeral Chapel when it is completed.
Jerry was born on September 12, 1934 in San Luis Obispo, CA; the son of Emanuel and Eunice (Brown) Schwafel. He served as an acolyte in St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in San Luis Obispo. In August 1949, his family moved to Palo Alto, CA, where he joined the Sea Scouts, providing the opportunity to nurture his passion for boating. Jerry graduated from Palo Alto High School, Class ’52. In March 1953, during the Korean War, Jerry joined the US Air Force. In July of that year the war ended, but the Korean conflict continued, and Jerry graduated from jet fighter maintenance school in Amarillo TX. He was then stationed at Davis Monthan-Tucson Air Force Base, where he joined the Strategic Air Command and looked after the Boeing B-47 Stratojet. After a deployment in Germany, he ended his four-year engagement with the Air Force in 1957 and continued for four more years of reserve service while he began his 34-year career with the Hewlett-Packard Company in Palo Alto.
In 1968, Jerry worked extensively on the design of Hewlett-Packard’s DC-6B global cargo aircraft, which was converted into a flying laboratory to showcase HP’s instruments in different countries. After earning his private pilot’s license, he had the privilege of co-piloting Quinn N. Sowell on the HP plane from Santa Monica to Oakland when Quinn Jerry took the helm. (The novel “The High and The Mighty” by Ernest Gann is said to be based on one of Quinn’s flights). Until his retirement in 1991, Jerry’s HP career focused on management with an emphasis on publications and art direction.
Over the years at HP, Jerry moved from Palo Alto to Santa Clara, Santa Rosa and then to Spokane, WA, where he met his 37-year-old wife, Pat (Hubbard). They married in 1984 and brought together a loving and growing blended family.
Jerry wasn’t all work and not a game. His favorite occupations were boating, camping, traveling, playing the piano, and spending time with family. Jerry was preceded by his parents. He is survived by his wife Pat; his daughters and sons-in-law: Lynn (Rob Endo), Carol (Jeff Bear), Jill (Eric Altorfer), stepdaughter, Chrystal (Jim Booth); 9 grandchildren and 6 great-grandchildren; Sister Betty (Jim Wall); numerous cousins, nieces, nephews, and more family and friends.
Please bookmark this link to his memorial: www.evanschapel.com/obituary/jerry-schwafel to check for updates on his life story and photos to be added there; and to share memories of Jerry with his family.
Published by Spokesman Review January 2, 2022.