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"There will surely be one more star in the heavens tonight." -- Dennis Mammana, syndicated Stargazer columnist, upon hearing of Schad's passing


September 25, 2011 (San Diego’s East County) – Beloved local hiking writer Jerry Schad has traveled his final trail. The author of 16 books, including Afoot & Afield in San Diego County, a popular guidebook to local hiking trails,and 50 Southern California Bicycling Trips, passed away September 22, 2011 of kidney cancer.


“San Diego lost an amazing person,” syndicated stargazing columnist Dennis Mammana said upon hearing the news. “As an outdoorsman, astronomer and night sky photographer, Jerry had been for years both a friend and a true inspiration to me. His remarkable story is both heart-warming and heart breaking. There will surely be one more star in the heavens tonight.”


Schad’s long battle with cancer was chronicled in a San Diego Union-Tribune story:

His wife, Peg Reiter, told the Union-Tribune, “I am beyond heartbroken,” and took a hike on a local beach in her husband’s memory.

Schad was born November 3, 1949 in San Jose, where he was raised. He graduated from U.C. Berkeley. He moved to San Diego in 1972 and received a master’s degree in astronomy from San Diego State University. He later taught at community college and chaired the physical sciences department at Mesa College.


But he is best known as an avid outdoorsman, long-distance bicyclist and hiker who inspired countless others to don hiking boots and hit the trails throughout East County’s mountains, deserts and backcountry communities. His “Roam-O-Rama” column in The Reader covered more than 300 outdoor destinations in San Diego County. Schad penned his final column, “End of the Trail,” in July:


He is survived by his wife, Peg Reiter, his son, Tom Schad of El Cajon, his mother, Marion Schad of Morgan Hill, and three sisters: Leslee Schad of Pennsylvania, Laurie Schad of Massachusetts, and Marita Roth of Morgan Hill.


A memorial celebration will be held October 9 at the El Cortez Hotel, 702 Ash Street in San Diego. Donations in his name may be made to Friends of Balboa Park, 2125 Park Blvd., San Diego CA 92101 to help maintain park trails. Trail 43 in Balboa Park, where Schad met his wife, has been renamed the Jerry Schad Memorial Hiking Trail in his honor.


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