Jasper Sawatzky passed away on 08/10/2019.
He was born to a German Mennonite family in Hillsboro, Kansas on 11/09/1924. His parents spoke German in the home so he grew up speaking both English and German. His fluency in German was invaluable throughout his life, particularly during the years he served in the infantry in Germany in WWII as well as in travels abroad in subsequent years. He served in the 104th Infantry division from November 1944 until the end of the war, May 1945. He was awarded the purple heart from wounds suffered in the last days of his conflict. He worked for General Eisenhower in the personnel department of the European headquarter command during the next year before being discharged in May 1946.
He met Rose Siemens back in Hillsboro, Kansas at Tabor College in the fall of 1946. They both taught in high schools in Kansas for nine years before moving their family to California in 1957. Awarded a teaching assistantship at UCLA and completed his doctorate in business education by 1959. He taught at HSU until his retirement in 1987. He and a colleague, Dr. Chen, wrote a best selling textbook in a computer language that went through two editions, was used in colleges and universities throughout the US, the UK, and some South and Central American universities. The second edition was translated into Spanish. Jasper was one of the leaders in developing a Computer Science program at HSU. The highlight of his teaching career was the opportunity to serve as the CSUC resident director of the international program in the United Kingdom.
Jasper was also proficient in wood working. These skills were especially useful when Rose resigned her Arcata High teaching position and started Rose's Antiques. He and his son-in-law built a large barn to house the showroom and work area for her. Ironically he was probably better known in Humboldt County for this skill than his years of professional life at Humboldt State.
Both Jasper and Rose fulfilled their passion for travel. Following retirement they took semi-annual trips throughout many parts of the world. They completed well over seventy trips out of the country and have traveled in countries in all continents except Antarctica.
He is survived by his son Kent (Teresa), daughter Kay (Frank), 5 grandsons Nick, John, David, Joel and Greg, 6 great grandchildren, and one more due in November.
He bids farewell to all of them and his friends, but his spirit remains and says to them all,
"auf weder sehen."
To send flowers to Jasper's family, please visit our floral section.