Janet “Jan” Marilyn (Shular) Schott was born February 3, 1945, to Clifford and Marge Weddell Shular. Their first home on Minnesota Ave in North Portland was razed during I-5 construction in the mid 1950’s. They moved several blocks away, and then to the Bull Mountain area of Tigard in the mid 1960’s. As a young man, Cliff helped build Kinzua, Oregon in the late 1920’s and took the “Goose “along Thirty-Mile Creek where his daughter would later reside.
Jan’s parents taught her the values of hard work which she displayed throughout her life. In high school, she worked after school and during summers as a clerk at JC Penney’s at Lloyd Center. She graduated from Jefferson High School in 1963 and represented JHS on the Rose Festival Court her senior year.
Jan worked her way through Portland State University as a telephone operator at Pacific Northwest Bell, earning a degree in Education. She met the love of her life, Tom Schott of Condon-Fossil after he made a long cattle hauling trip to Portland with post-Christmas flood detours in early 1965. They married on June 15, 1968, shortly after her graduation from PSU.
Tom and Jan made their home on a ranch east of Fossil (The Rettie place) where they lived for 55 years, except for three years when they lived in Fossil late 1969 through early 1973. During their first year of marriage they lived in a camp trailer and old cabin with no electricity or telephone.
Mom substituted at Fossil Schools in 1968- 69 and the following year taught high school English and was volleyball coach and cheerleader advisor. A devoted mother, she quit teaching full time after one year to raise her sons Jeff and Grant, although still worked as a substitute teacher.
In 1978, Jan returned to the Fossil schools part time as a Title 1 aide, while also typically teaching a class at the high school. She stepped up to take over 5th /6th grade in 1986/87 when the newly hired teacher withdrew the job offer the day before school started, and filled in for a 2nd grade teacher on maternity leave for half a year in 1981.
Jan returned to summer school every few summers to enhance her teacher credentials, and in the 1990’s became a Special Ed and then kindergarten teacher. Rheumatoid arthritis forced an early retirement in 2004, but after successful treatments brought RA into remission, she worked almost full time as a subsite until 2008.
That year she started her favorite job as childcare provider for granddaughter Quinlan Schott, joined two years later by grandson Thomas Schott. She took care of Quinlan and Tommy weekly through early grade school and whenever she had the chance afterwards. She enjoyed attending all their activities through the Spring of 2023 and was thrilled to watch a video of Quinlan competing in the 800-meter race at State track in May.
Jan was a tremendous community activist and her most prominent role in “retirement” was as an active member of the Condon Garden Club, which for her meant the Condon and Fossil Garden Club. She planted and maintained flower beds on Main Street in both communities. Jam was a member of the Wheeler County Asher Community board until recently, and, in earlier years, was on the boards of Oregon Paleo Lands Institute and Haven House Retirement Center in Fossil.
Having worked paycheck to paycheck in her younger years, Jan worked hard and saved and invested for the benefit of her family. She was immensely generous at holidays, birthdays, or any or no special occasion. Her vision of replacing the 100-year-old “Camp Ruffit” cabin at Lost Valley became reality in 2017-18 when she spearheaded the design, building and funding of a beautiful new log cabin for her family to enjoy.
A decline in health following a seemingly successful spinal fusion surgery this spring was eventually diagnosed as terminal cancer in late June. Jan spent her final several weeks surrounded by caring family, friends and staff at Columbia Basin Care in the Dalles, Oregon where she died on July 11, 2023.
Jan will be remembered for her generous and energetic spirit and her eternal optimism, warmth, and smile. Her life will be missed but her spirit will live on.
She is survived by husband Tom of Fossil, son Jeff and daughter-in-law Nichole and grandkids Quinlan and Thomas of Mayville, son Grant of Portland, and brother Rick and wife Cynthia of Portland.
A Celebration of life will be hosted at Isobel Edwards Hall in Fossil at noon on Friday July 21, 2023. Memorial donations can be made to Haven House Retirement Center, P.O. Box 386, Fossil, Oregon 97830, or a charity of your choice.
Sweeney Mortuary in Condon is in care of funeral arrangements. Visit sweeneymortuary.com.