Pat Schoch

May 1, 2019

Pat Schoch
Pat Schoch
“Pat is filled with a positive energy, integrity and the genuine support she gives everyone, not only at SCA [Sebastopol Center for the Arts], but the town of Sebastopol, and Sonoma County as well.” 
--Nominator Matthew Groff, of Sebastopol Locals Who Makes a Difference Honoree Pat Schoch
If you’ve been to the Sebastopol Center for the Arts, West County Historical Society, the Interfaith Church Pantry, or the Santa Rosa Sutter Hospice Thrift Store, you’ll probably recognize Pat Schoch. She’s the friendly face that you’ll see volunteering behind the desk or counter.
Or, if you’ve taken a Coastwalk hike, watched a Christian Women’s Softball League game or are a member of the congregation of the Sebastopol Methodist Church, your paths have very likely crossed.
Pat has been a resident of Sebastopol for well over 50 years and has been volunteering for a number of organizations in the area for most of those years; from providing respite for caregivers through Home Hospice, to selling scrip to fundraise for her church every Sunday, to helping prepare a meal for Coastwalk hikers, to assisting clients, customers and visitors at the Church Pantry, Thrift Store, Historical Society and Center for the Arts.
Pat and her husband Paul have four children and seven grandchildren, all of whom live close enough to head home for holiday gatherings and other celebrations. An Indiana native, Pat and Paul met at a Methodist Church social in Sacramento where she was stationed as an Air Force nurse and he worked for the highway department. After they married, Paul’s work as a Civil Engineer brought them to Sebastopol in 1962 when Pat was pregnant with the couple’s first child.  The Schoches moved two more times to accommodate their growing family, but always stayed in Sebastopol. Once the children were grown and out on their own, Pat put her experience and talents to work by volunteering.
Pat has been involved with the Sebastopol Center for the Arts in one way or another since its first location in the basement of the Methodist Church.  She was introduced to the group when her daughter participated in a musical performance there and Pat’s love of music prompted her to eventually join the SCA’s music committee. She continued to volunteer as the Center moved from the church to the building across the street from the Police Department, then to Depot Street, and finally to its home at the Veteran’s Hall, where she thought it would be fun to learn more about the visual arts and now helps visitors at the front desk.
“I wouldn’t call myself an artist, but I do love being around art,” says Pat.  One of her creative outlets is pruning and caring for the 80 apple trees on the property at the Schoch home south of town.  Many of the trees are Gravensteins, including some that she estimates may be 100 years or older… and still bear fruit. During harvest season, Pat cuts back on some of her other endeavors to pick and dry fruit, press juice, and share the bounty of the orchard with neighbors and friends, some of whom drive from far afield. 
A lifelong lover of outdoor activities, Pat plays tennis when the weather is cooperative and pitches (in more ways than one) for the Christian Women’s Softball League—she notes that they are on the lookout for some new recruits. She and Paul also enjoy hiking and biking throughout beautiful Sonoma County and traveling the world, including their favorite trip hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu and taking over thirty Road Scholar (Elderhostel) trips.