In early January, 2022, Jack Schick spent his final moments with his family. Jack had many passions – at the top of his list was family, adventure and a love of the outdoors. This lifelong love of the outdoors was ignited at the age of 7 while fishing and hiking outside of Calgary with a family friend. This led to summer jobs in the Rockies with Parks Canada during university, where he’d invite his younger siblings to stay with him at whichever park he was working at. He had his first taste of the North when his work with the Dept of Agriculture brought him to Inuvik and Haines Junction. That one taste wasn’t enough, and he dreamed of getting back to the north, and the ‘Junction’ in particular.
Over New Year’s 1978, Jack, Joanne, and two young sons Stephen and Jody made the long drive from Edmonton back to The North. What was supposed to be a two year stint… lasted over 20 in the Yukon. Jack loved that the north was only lightly touched by humans, and he wanted it kept that way. Bringing his appreciation of nature to others was his career focus too. He was blessed to explore, hike, canoe, bike, and ski through first Kluane and then other areas of the Yukon with a host of kindred adventurers. While he had many lifetimes worth of trips he wanted to do in the north, this was secondary to just being in the outdoors with friends, family, or a dog to enjoy it with.
As retirement approached, Jack and Joanne decided to leave their beloved but chilly Yukon for the warmer climes closer to family. Jack put his mind to designing and building his dream home. This brought them to a treed lot on a northern Gulf Island with no ferry access. The next adventure had begun on Mudge Island! This was Jack’s chance to build an energy-efficient, environmentally-friendly, beautiful, functional house that would fit with the surrounding forest. Over the next 20 years, his projects included building a rainwater collection system and a studio, and advocating for the preservation of lands on Mudge for public use and enjoyment.
The next chapter, in the spring of 2021, was the move off Mudge to be closer to their sons and grandchildren, and for easier access to just about everything other than their friends on Mudge. Jack embraced their new home for what it had in abundance – the one thing he missed while living on Mudge – miles of trails in beautiful forests only minutes from their home. Jack likely hiked more in his eight months in Gibsons than he did in the 20 years on Mudge. Back in the woods, with Joanne, Jody, Stephen, or one of his four grandkids, and often with a dog, Jack was back to his outdoor roots.
This didn’t stop even with the tragic diagnosis of late stage pancreatic cancer. His walks continued to his final day. Jack very much wanted to leave this world before he couldn’t enjoy it anymore… and that is what he did.
Jack was so loved by family in British Columbia, Alberta, Australia, and Hawaii.