John "Jack" Schils

  • Born: April 13, 1928
  • Died: February 14, 2020
  • Location: Battle Creek, Michigan

Farley Estes Dowdle Funeral Home & Cremation Care

105 Capital Ave NE
Battle Creek, MI 49017

Tel. (269) 962-5527

Tribute & Message From The Family


John (Jack) Schils, 91, of Battle Creek died February 14, 2020. He was born April 13, 1928 in Escanaba, MI, the son of John and Helga Schils. He is survived by his wife, Jo, sons, Gary (Sylvia), Brian (Sheila), Don (Julie) and Dean, three grandchildren, Dane, Tauri and Pari, and a sister, Louvaine. He was preceded in death by his brother, Gordon.

Jack graduated from Escanaba High School in 1946. He was a member of the National Honor Society and received the Rotary Club Award for Scholarship, service and leadership. He earned nine letters in football, basketball and track. He played on two U.P. Championships in baseball and one in football. He was a member of the first U.P. All-Star Football team.

Following graduation from high school he enlisted in the U.S. Army and served in Alaska. After an honorable discharge he enrolled at Northern Michigan University where he earned 11 letters in football, basketball and track. He was captain of the basketball team. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in education in 1952. In 1986 he was inducted into the NMU Sports Hall of Fame.

After graduating from NMU he married Jo Carol Hurst of Marquette on June 14, 1952. Both of them were hired to teach at the high school in Hancock, MI. Jack taught biology and was head basketball coach as well as an assistant in football and track.

In 1954 Jack accepted a teaching job in Hudson, MI, where he taught biology and was head basketball coach and also coached football and track. His 1958 basketball team was a semi-finalist in the State Basketball Tournament.

In 1958 he earned his Master's Degree in Secondary School Administration from the University of Michigan. He and his wife then moved to Battle Creek, MI where he again taught biology and became an assistant coach in football, and head JV basketball coach for 10 years at Battle Creek Central High School. In 1968 he became athletic director and was instrumental in starting the BCC Holiday Tournament. He also managed several State, Regional and 6A League track meets. After four years as athletic director he became the assistant principal at BCC.

In 1974 he was hired as principal at Northwestern Junior High School where he remained until his retirement in 1986. During his time as principal the school was recognized as one of the outstanding junior high schools in Michigan.

After retirement in 1986, Jack and Jo have spent summers at their log home on Bass Lake near Gwinn in the Upper Peninsula. They have also enjoyed a lot of traveling, having been to all 50 states in the USA and to 14 countries in Europe and Asia. When in Battle Creek, they loved their condo in Potters Grove and loved spending time with family and friends in the area.

Friends will be received on Tuesday, February 18, 2020 from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the Farley Estes Dowdle Funeral Home & Cremation Care. A memorial service to celebrate Jack's life will be 11:00 a.m., Wednesday, February 19 at the First United Methodist Church. Memorial donations may be made to the John "Jack" and Jo Schils Memorial Scholarship Fund through the Battle Creek Community Foundation. Personal messages for the family may be placed at www.farleyestesdowdle.com.