Jill Allgire Schacht passed away surrounded by the love of friends and family on Dec. 1, 2017, after a courageous fight against cancer. She was 67 years of age.
Jill was born March 18, 1950, in Oak Harbor. She and her older brother Steve spent their early childhood in Japan, where their father John Allgire and mother Myrtle were stationed in the Navy. The family then moved back to Oak Harbor, where Jill would begin her lifelong love of Whidbey Island. Jill’s childhood was filled with the small-town stories shared by many of her friends — summers at Cranberry Lake and school years spent at Oak Harbor elementary, junior and high schools, where she graduated with the Oak Harbor High School Class of 1968. Jill’s love of music was an essential part of her school life and her participation in band and choir nurtured her enduring passion for music.
In her early 20s, Jill moved to Bellingham, where she met and married her late husband, William Frederick Schacht. By the early 1980s, Oak Harbor drew Jill and her young family back to Oak Harbor, where they raised two children, Sarah Patricia and William John Schacht. Jill took on the role as manager for The Casual House, a women’s clothing store her parents founded nearly 60 years ago. She became an advocate for the growth and small business vibrancy of downtown Oak Harbor, serving on numerous boards and working groups to keep businesses and the community moving forward. Jill’s sense of community saw her as a member of the PEO and frequent contributor to OHHS teams, activities and community organizations.
As her children moved on to college and careers, Jill began to spend more time with her first love: music. Through vocal lessons, singing at student showcases in Seattle jazz clubs, participating in Centrum’s jazz intensive workshops during the Port Townsend Jazz Fest, and going on jazz cruises, Jill pursued her love of jazz while making new groups of friends from all over the world.
In summer 2016, Jill topped off her sale of The Casual House with a music-filled retirement party at her home in Oak Harbor with some of her favorite jazz artists, friends and family. That same year, Jill watched as her daughter Sarah married her husband, Guillaume. She was there when her son Bill married his wife Hannah and also for the birth of her grandson, William T. Schacht. In the last years of her life, Jill packed in an amazing amount of jazz, travel, friendship and love of family.
Jill is survived by her children Sarah (Guillaume) and Bill (Hannah). Also surviving are three grandchildren and her brother Steve (Sandy) and their children. She was preceded in death by her husband Bill and her parents.
A funeral mass was celebrated on Saturday, Dec. 9, 2017, at St Augustine Catholic Church. Interment followed at Maple Leaf Cemetery. At Jill’s request, the reception following at the Oak Harbor Yacht Club was filled with her favorite jazz music.
The family suggests memorials in Jill’s name to the “Jill Schacht Jazz Vocalist Scholarship” with Centrum (http://centrum.org/donate-to-centrum/), the nonprofit jazz education program Jill loved so much. Her family is grateful and moved by the tremendous love and support her friends and the Oak Harbor community have shown to Jill and her family.
Funeral arrangements were entrusted to Wallin Funeral Home. Family and friends are encouraged to share memories or condolences at www.wallinfuneral home.com