Jacques Herzig was born in Basel, Switzerland on February 16, 1929. From the beginning, Jacques was a very strong-minded person. He knew exactly what he wanted and was determined to have his way. He grew up in a large family of nine during The Great Depression in the city of Basel on the Rhine River in Switzerland. The family lived in a number of different flats before settling at Delsbergeralle in 1939. His mother, Olga Miserez, prepared all the meals, kept the home tidy, and all of the children in line. His father, Gottfried Herzig, was the provider of the family. Among other occupations, he worked for the Migros grocery store for many years. Jacques’ siblings included the three eldest Maya Lanz, Roland Herzig, Violette Herzig, and the four youngest after him, Daniel Herzig who died as an infant, Lilliane Zuchinetti, Claudine Buergel and Remy Herzig.
One of Jacques’ favorite memories of his youth was "Mittagessen", the midday meal. Everyone in the family would come home from work or school for the main meal of the day. The parents and the four youngest children sat at the main table and the three eldest at a smaller table nearby. This was the time of day when they could sit and relax and enjoy a warm meal prepared with love by mother. They all had an opportunity to talk about their day or what was on their mind, and they all knew that they were heard, supported and loved.
By the time Jacques was 23 he had decided that he wanted to cut loose and go explore the world. He sold his bicycle for a down payment on his boat ticket to independence. He wasn't exactly sure how he was going to come up with the rest of the money for that ticket, but he had faith and pure determination. Just days before his boat was to depart his father approached him with the money. The people at Migros trusted Gottfried Herzig enough to give him a loan against his pension. Gottfried trusted that his son would pay him back over the course of two years. Jacques was honored and elated. He said his good-byes and left his homeland of Switzerland in September of 1952.
Jacques began his adventure in Melbourne, Australia where he worked in the offices of a gold mine. In letters home he mentioned how difficult it was to deal with the 104°F heat. With his mathematical mind, Swiss education, willingness to work eight days a week, and let us not forget to mention his drive for success, he rose to high paying positions immediately. Jacques was able to pay his father back in full plus 50% interest in one fourth of the allotted time. Eventually, his travels lead him to New Zealand.
It was always Jacques’ dream to come to United States of America, the land of opportunity. He arrived in California’s San Franciso Bay Area in 1956. Jacques was very fortunate that his big brother Roland & his lovely wife Paula Hugentobler were established there. They took him in until he got his feet on the ground. The location could not have been better. It wasn't long before Jacques discovered his niche as a real estate appraiser for a local bank. He soon bought his first car, a sexy little British Triumph sports car -- Brooooom Broooom! Not long after that he met a gorgeous American lass, Katherine Dale Moorhead. They married and bought their first home is sunny Saratoga, California where fruit trees flourished. They brought forth two precious daughters Richelle & Maya Herzig. Jacques was a faithful husband, an excellent provider, and a fun, loving and adventurous father. Unfortunately, sometimes people grow apart and, for one reason or another, Jacques and Dale were divorced.
In 1974 Jacques became an independent contractor and started his own business, J. G. Herzig & Associates. It was an instant success. Then Jacques met the love of his life, Barbara Ann Bliss. They married, and brought her children into the family: Cynthia Landfather, Allen Hogan, and Pamela Dobbs. Now they had a family of seven with five of them being teenagers, oh my! Being the great provider Jacques was, he empowered his wife Barbara to take good care of her children before she retired at age 50 from secretarial work. Now she had time to relax and spend quality time with not only her children, but her grandchildren as well. Barbara & Jacques enjoyed each other's company, playing games together, listening to fine music and traveling to sunny places. They eventually settled in Grants Pass, Oregon where they bought a mountain home. Jacques invested well and was able to retire himself. Sadly, not long after that Barbara was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. Jacques loved his wife dearly and took excellent care of her. She passed away on January 6, 2016.
Just when it seemed as if Jacques's retirement plans were doomed and his golden years were destined for loneliness and despair the phone rang and he heard a voice from the past... Erika Hunziker, a lifelong friend from his hometown of Basel was on the line. Jacques and Erika were sweethearts before he left on his adventure to explore the world more than 60 years ago. Erika didn't want to stand in the way of Jacques' dreams, so she let him go. Jacques and Erika became reacquainted. They took turns visiting each other, going back and forth from Switzerland to America and vice versa. They traveled together as well, visiting familiar places, friends and family. They also put some new pins on the map. Erika was a good friend to Jacques. Even after they could no longer travel, Erika called and talked to her dear friend Jacques every single day until the last. He knew that he was loved.
Jacques was a faithful husband, an excellent provider, and a fun, loving and adventurous father. He was a courageous man who worked very hard for his money and even harder to save it. He made sound investments and secured his retirement. He took care of himself and his responsibilities almost to the very end. He suffered from the first stages of dementia the last eight months of his life. His youngest daughter, Maya, was there to help so he could live the rest of his life in the comfort of his own home. At age 93 Jacques refused treatment and hospice began at home five days before his death on May 31, 2022. He died of respiratory issues .
Jacques loved this country, The United States of America, football (especially the 49'ers), an ice-cold beer with his guy friends and guy talk, a perfectly cut and grilled filet mignon, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Ludwig Van Beethoven, his family, his forest, and of course the three special ladies in his life. He was a positive influence on many and will surely be missed. Rest in Peace Schaggi.
Jacques is preceded in death by his second wife, Barbara (Bliss) Herzig, and his siblings, Maya Lanz, Roland, Violette, Daniel, and Remy.
Jacques is survived by his daughters Richelle Herzig and Maya Herzig, her children Bradley Coy, Marilyn Coy, Jacob Hurley, and Nathan Coy (m. Cristina Callaway Coy), and grandchildren Isabella, Lincoln and Judah Coy; step children Allan Hogan, his children Briana and Taylor Pompa-Hogan; Cynthia Anne Landfather and her children Melissa and Jeremy, his children Zyne and Evelyn; and Pamela Dobbs (m. Fletch Dobbs) and their children Megan Jones/Von Schoeler and Krista Jones. He is also survived by his sisters Lilliane Zuchinetti and Claudine Buergel; special friend Erika Hunziker, and numerous nieces and nephews.