2012-12-13 / Obituaries

Chuck Schiff

Chuck Schiff, 50, died Wednesday, Dec. 5, at Modesto Memorial Hospital from complications stemming from a long-time history of asthma. Chuck and his family have lived in Mariposa since 2009.

Well-known as the local wine connoisseur, Chuck was the beverage manager for Pioneer

Market since 2008. Chuck’s knowledge and passion for wine was evident with every customer he helped, every wine tasting event he poured and every wine dinner he attended. With more than 25 years dedicated to wine and spirits sales, Chuck was renowned throughout the industry. One of Chuck’s favorite comments was, “There is a wine for every person and a person for every wine. Just because you haven’t found your favorite bottle, keep trying. It may find you.”

An avid hiker and outdoorsman, Chuck moved his family to Mariposa when he received the opportunity to transfer to the Yosemite area with Bronco Wine Group. Chuck’s long-time dream was to live close to the Park he treasured. How happy he was to open his door and look out at the Sierra Nevada instead of the hustle and bustle of a crowded city. Chuck did not like crowds and hated traffic even more, so he grew to love the mountain life.

Born in 1962 in North Hollywood, Chuck grew up as a “Valley Guy.” He lived close to the famed Sherman Oaks Galleria and was an avid surfer and skater. During his high school years at Ulysses S. Grant, he worked at the local Gelsons’ Foods as an orange juice specialist. Such was the beginning of his illustrious career in beverages.

Chuck graduated from Chico State University with a bachelor of science degree in communication and a minor in drama. His degree definitely served him well in his career, as he was an excellent communicator, as well as listener. Chuck’s communication skills put him at another level in sales. He was the ultimate sales and businessman.

Chuck is survived by his wife of nearly 19 years, Tara; their three children: Ben, 17, Hannah, 16 and Noah, 7; his mother and stepfather, Jeri and Roger Sterneck of Westlake Village; sisters, Lisa Elbaum of Agoura Hills and Kerri Schiff also of Westlake Village.

He was preceded in death by his father, Gordon, and uncle, David.

He will be remembered for his wonderful, friendly, helpful nature, his keen sense of humor and his love of his family and the outdoors.

A memorial service to honor Chuck and his family is planned for Saturday, Dec. 15 at 10 a.m. at the Mariposa Amphitheater.. If you would like to help, a memorial fund is being set up under The Schiff Family Fund. For more information, contact Tom Griffith at tom.griffith@earthlink.net.

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Chuck was a good man, and a

Chuck was a good man, and a great friend. I'm devastated to hear of his passing. Chuck was my manager at Southern Wine & Spirits in Santa Barbara. He mentored me and taught me about wine, about sales, and about life. He cared that I was having a good day or a bad day. He gave me advice when I needed it the most. We surfed together and hiked and went out promoting new brands or new locations. He was definitely my mentor in the wine & spirits world. I already miss him immensely. I love you Chuck and I'll never forget you.

Dear Schiff Family, We are

Dear Schiff Family, We are very sorry for the loss of Chuck. I often stopped to chat with him at Pioneer Market. It was only today, January 22nd, that I learned of this tragedy. My 5 year-old son found a feather from the duster Chuck often kept in hand, and said, "This must belong to Chuck!" So we went looking for him, and Danny asked another employee, and we heard the sad news. Chuck was always very patient and kind, and always ready to give my son a high-five, or tell a joke. I knew him just in passing through the market aisles, yet still I weep. He will be missed. Blessings to you all. Mary, Shawn, & Danny Lingo

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