Jim Schaad of August Cellars. ##Photo by Andrea Johnson

Jim Schaad (1959–2020)

Remembering the August Cellars' founder

James “Jim” Lewis Schaad was born Feb. 2, 1959, in Corvallis. He graduated from Corvallis High School in 1977. While there, he was a member of the First United Methodist Church, earned his Eagle Scout, and ran cross country for CHS.

Schaad participated in a 3-2 program between Willamette University and Columbia University in New York City. He graduated in 1983 with a Bachelor of Science in chemistry from Willamette and a Bachelor of Science in metallurgical engineering from Columbia. Schaad subsequently earned his master’s in computer science in 1985 from the University of Washington. Upon graduation, he was hired by a new computer company, Microsoft, where he worked until he was able to retire in 2000. He continued working by freelancing in international computer security, including for the National Security Administration (NSA), traveling all over the world to attend Internet Engineering Taskforce (IETF) conferences and work groups.

Schaad enjoyed spending time with family and traveling the world, and often combined both loves. He participated in several Cycle Oregon trips with his father. In 1996, he traveled to Australia to complete the Great Bicycle Ride.

In retirement, Schaad treated his siblings and nephews to a trip to Disney World.  He would take each nephew on an annual two-week trip once each turned 11.  He allowed them to research and choose their destinations. Their first trip was in the U.S., with subsequent trips in North America until they turned 16 and could choose anywhere in the world, which included Australia, Europe, South America, and North Africa.

In 2002, Schaad, along with his parents, aunt, grandfather and brother, opened August Cellars on family property near Newberg, ultimately becoming the winemaker. It summed up his values of preserving family heritage and helping others. The winery was named for his great grandfather, and the business plan included space to incubate small wineries. His goal was to provide a sustainable way for small winemakers to operate and stay in business.

The list of wineries that have at one time called August Cellars home includes: Artisanal Wine Cellars, Anam Cara, Barking Frog, Crowley Wines, Et Fille, Laura Volkman Vineyards, Ocelli Wines, Ovum Wines, Potter’s Vineyard, Proteus, Shea Wine Cellars, Toluca Lane, WildAire Cellars and Zimri Cellars.

Schaad fought lymphoma in 2013, and had been in remission. He died Oct. 3, 2020, from complications of a recurrence.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the First United Methodist Church of Corvallis, United Way of King County or the American Red Cross.

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