The life of J. Howard “Jake” Shoemaker III of San Carlos will be celebrated at 3 p.m. Sunday, July 22, 2012, at the Congregational Church of Belmont, 751 Alameda de las Pulgas, where he had been an active member.
He died July 10 at the age of 86 at the Palo Alto Veterans Hospital where he had been just five days.
Shoemaker was born June 18, 1927, in Jamaica, Queens, N.Y., and attended Haverford College in Pennsylvania, a Quaker school that deeply impressed him. Although he considered himself a Pacifist, he served briefly in the Navy as a teen during World War II, then in the Marines when he was drafted to serve in the Korean War. He was honorably discharged as a sergeant.
He was married for 30 years to Louise Shoemaker and they lived on Long Island. She felt called to ministry and moved away to attend seminary. He felt called to California and came here with the man he would later call his soul mate, David Michael Quigno, in the early ‘80s. David died of AIDs in 1995.
He is survived by his three children, Eleanor Reger of New Providence, Penn., Fern Shoemaker of Muskogee, Okla., and Howard Shoemaker of Utica, N.Y., and three grandchildren he never met.
Shoemaker was always involved in his church and has very fond memories of Presbyterian youth groups of his childhood. He was an active member of the Congregational Church of Belmont, United Church of Christ, where he sang in the choir and served as a deacon and on the Board of Social Outreach and Church Council. He also sang in the Silicon Valley Gay Men's Chorus and was honored recently as a lifelong member.
For the past 20 years, he was the friend, roommate and majordomo of Bruce Nickerson’s “castle” in San Carlos where he had a life tenancy.
For more information call 650-593-4547. Memorial donations may be given to the Music Fund of the church or to the Silicon Valley Gay Men's Chorus, 72 North 5th St., Suite 16, San Jose, CA 95112.