By Ken Stone/Patch.com
Author of a dozen books, including the definitive Afoot and Afield local series, had kidney cancer.
Jerry Schad, the prolific hiking writer and former La Mesan, died Thursday at his home in downtown San Diego, The San Diego Union-Tribune reported on its website. He was 61.
“I am beyond heartbroken,” his wife, Peg Reiter, said in an email to the Union-Tribune’s Steve Schmidt, who wrote a long profile of Schad’s battle with kidney cancer.
Schad’s Afoot & Afield in San Diego County books are considered the definitive guide to local hiking. His Reader magazine column, Roam-O-Rama, began in January 1993 and ended only last July with a piece titled End of the Trail.
Mike Jones, a former publisher of Schad’s hiking books at Wilderness Press, said: “Jerry was so loved—and for many good reasons.” Jones was publisher of his books from 1999 to 2004, he said.
Jones, who said he met Schad two or three times, recalls that a previous publisher told him that when Schad began producing the San Diego County books, he vowed that they would be the best hiking guides anyone would ever write—and would continue to be the best via updates.
“Jerry was just remarkable,” Jones said in a phone interview from his home office in Portland, OR.
Francie Sanders, a good friend of Schad’s, told La Mesa Patch that a memorial is planned. She said Schad left a request that, in lieu of flowers, donations should be sent to Friends of Balboa Park.
Reader publisher Jim Holman, in an email to La Mesa Patch, said: “I miss Jerry very much. We have been running re-runs of his old columns for a few months and probably through the end of the year.”
Holman said his free weekly publication will reprint a long Steve Sorensen story about Schad next week.
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