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Jacob Gordon Hericks

September 27, 2020 | 80 comments

Jacob Gordon Hericks, 26, of La Crosse, Wisconsin, passed away in his home on September 23, 2020.

Jacob was born on August 19, 1994 to Keri Schauf and Steve Hericks in Tomah, Wisconsin.  Jake attended Tomah High School and graduated in 2012. Jake then attended classes at WWTC in La Crosse.

Jake is survived by his parents Keri (Chad) Schauf of Sparta, Wisconsin, Steve (Sonja) Hericks of Tomah, Wisconsin, sisters Maddison, Jaiden, Harley and Jackie Schauf; brothers Tommy and Lane Hericks, grandparents Linda (Kit Rixie) Smothers of Camp Douglas, Jeffery Butner of Sparta; Tom and Jane Hericks of Tomah; nephew Denver Schauf; and many grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins.

He was preceded in death by his great grandparents Gordon and Laura Snider, Harvey and Jean Buchholz, Linn and Eva Butner; uncles Ronnie Kemp, Darren Schauf and Tom Buchholz; great uncle Gerald (Jerry) Hericks; great aunt Karen Gruen and a cousin Bryan (Munchie) Kemp.

Condolences may be sent to 216 Pine St. Sparta WI, 54656 or by adding a comment to Jakes obituary.

A message from Jake’s family.

If you don’t understand what it feels like to love an addict, we pray that you never have to. We hope you never have sleepless nights or days spent wishing and praying the person you love is safe, or alive. We hope you never have to explain to someone what your loved one was like before the addiction to defend their character. We hope you never have to look so far back to remember the person they were before the addiction. We hope you never have to experience the broken system. We pray you never have to experience sending your child to their sixth recovery program. We hope you never have to feel the judgement from others. We hope and pray you never have to tell your friends and family that everything is okay when you’re secretly falling apart inside, praying for a miracle. We pray you never have to feel the loneliness of keeping a secret like this, or the hopelessness of losing someone long before they pass. Addiction doesn’t discriminate. It doesn’t care where you come from or how much you are loved. When you love an addict, the person you knew and the addict are not one in the same. They don’t want to be an addict. They long for the happiness and the life they had before the addiction took over. As much as we fought endlessly for Jake, this was his battle. Despite everything he endured, Jake remained a loving cousin, nephew, grandson and son. He was a fun brother, proud uncle, and good friend. We hope and pray you never have to live with the pain of wondering what their life would have looked like without addiction. If you don’t understand, we hope that you never have to.

Never give up fighting……



  1. Tony & Missy Deters

    Oh you guys I’m so very sorry for your loss. Please know you’re in our prayers. ❤️ Love & Hugs to the whole family!

    • Bonnie zidlicky

      You dont know me or I know you just want to give my deepest Sympathy to you all. So sorry for your loss of Jacob.There are no words that can ease your pain. I will pray for you all to have peace,

    • Barb Billings

      I don’t know you but I know how you feel. This.happened to me.
      All my love and understanding to you. If you ever feel you just can’t go on please message me…anytime!!
      My heart is breaking for you. God Bless.

    • Lou Ann Bever

      Hello, there aren’t many Bever’s left in the relation but from all of us our sincere sympathy. Lou Ann

      • Cheryl Keenan

        I’m so sorry for your loss! Addiction does not pick and choose whose next. It can and will choose anyone.

        • Chad

          Thank you so much.

      • Harley

        Jake was the brother I never knew I was missing. We took our time deciding whether we were going to like each other, and fought a lot as most siblings do. But as we got older I became the closest to Jake of all my siblings. Not because I love any of them less but because Jake and I were the closest in age and we experienced more life together than I had the chance to with my others. As kids we challenged each other a lot; not realizing we were pushing each other to be better versions of ourselves. We became close with each other’s friends. We helped each other navigate the horrors of middle school and the challenges of young adulthood. Jake was rarely a sentimental guy but he always knew exactly what to say when I really, really needed it. I will forever be grateful for that.

        I loved watching his soft side come out when he became a big brother to Maddi and Jaiden. I loved watching him be in love, twice. He loved so deeply. When he first met my son Denver, it became clear to me how influential Jake was in my life. I remember how emotional I felt at that moment. He loved Denver so much.

        When an addict dies people like to think that there is some sort of relief for the family. Like knowing that he’s not fighting that demon anymore is supposed to be comforting. The truth is, even though he’d cheated death before we all still hoped that he would get to a place of happiness again. We never got comfortable with the idea that this could be our reality. His addiction was a tragedy but it also shaped him into the man he was. He overcame more hardship than some people do in a lifetime. In the last 8 years there has been a lot of hard times but there’s been a lot of good memories in between too. Even through the lowest moments Jake never stopped fiercely loving his family. We will miss you forever brother. Rest in power.

      • Linda

        God bless you and your family. I only know a bit of which you speak by knowing of a friend “addicted” to an addict. So very painful. The fear of demise everyday. Just within a grasp of “saving” that loved one. Oh my… you have described so appropriately. HUGS!

    • Arlyne Grey Bear

      I am so sorry that you are going thru tough times and no words can change anything,but I know the feeling of hopelessness that addiction brings. I am went thru what you went thru it’s very hard the pain the worrying trying to help them get better.God bless this family and hold your arms around them and help them get well.

    • Shannon Paludi

      I am so so sorry for your lose. I did not know Jacob or his family. A friend sent me this article and I weeped. I to was an addict so I personally know the struggle that your beloved son went threw and “there but for the grace of god go I”. I thank the lord he had a wonderful supportive family as did I, becouse as you said no one wants to be an addict and we certainly do not want to hurt our families. The words you wrote tuched me deeply Becouse it made me see more clearly what I put my family through and hopefully a family that has turned there back on a addicted child will think twice about the tough love approach and just love unconditionally. I probably would not be here today if not for the love of my family and Im so sorry that Jacob is not. Just know (and Im only going by my experience) that he tried his best to get back to the real him, that addiction is strong but his love and gratitude for his family never wavered. It took me many years to get clean and a different state that has real recovery programs unlike this area. I dont want to start preaching so im just going to say again how deeply sorry I am for Jacob and for his family. Also for the words you wrote as I’m sure I am not the only one that has been touched by them.

    • Mishelle Gulley

      I am a mother of 2 addicts. One with feet one with wings. I lost my son Dustin to fentanyl laced heroin July 21st 2019. My oldest daughter still is fighting her demons. Please know you are not alone in this journey. I pray for your family. Dustin’s mom FOREVER 30
      Mishelle Gulley

    • Scott Mcginnis

      I know that loss, my son passed in 2017. My son knew your son, as did I. No words to fix this,, only know your not alone.

  2. Christine Schaitel

    I’m so very sorry for your loss…

    • Hannah Schaaf

      I went to high school and graduated with Jake.
      My deepest condolences to all of his family, I am very sorry for your pain and loss.

  3. Steven Schmieder

    I’m sorry for your loss kari, chad, and family.

    • Connie Sande

      So sorry for your unending fight for Jacob. May he RIP. He knows you did everything you could for him!

    • Wally and Jill

      We are so sorry for the loss of Jake. Please know you are in our thoughts and prayers. Love❤

    • Anonymous

      While I did not know your son, I do know the pain and heartache of loving an addict as your child.
      My heart breaks for you and your message was so powerful.
      I pray your boy is now at peace and away from the horrific life addicts face. Often alone.
      Many prayers and never stop fighting. <3

  4. Anonymous

    I did not know your son but my prayers are with your family and his friends. Your message is beautiful and I hope that it helps someone out there.

  5. Carol

    God be with you all in the days to come. Thinking of you and praying God will continue to give you strength…..

  6. The Hunter Family

    I am so sorry for your loss. I hope that your family can find a way to heal and are surrounded by love of all those who knew Jake.

    • Robin Bucholz

      My heart and prayers go out to all of you. Your words were beautifully said. Losing a child is the hardest thing to happen to a parent. From one mother of an Angel to another 💞💞

  7. Doug and Pam Mannel

    So sad, we loss you to soon , to young but we will remember you Jake the way you were before the drugs to over, the fun , caring person we knew you to be. May you rest in peace now, grandma and grandpa will always love you Jake

  8. Melodee hanson krogman

    Chad & Keri I feel your pain my son is a recovering addict been clean for a year & 1/2 but I still feel that he could relapse iam so sorry for you loss to you and your family no parent should go through this

  9. Mike Hill

    Please accept my sincere condolences.

  10. Sherri Salonek

    So sorry for your loss!

  11. Gary S. Jones

    Keri and Chad. I am so sorry that you have lost a son. May God be with at this very difficult time and remember that there are so many people are sending love and prayers to you.

  12. Jeanne Button

    So very sorry for your loss! Addictions are awful! And more common than not! We all have family members with addictions! God bless him, and may he finally be at rest! ❤️❤️

    • Dick and Kyle

      Our deepest sympathy at the loss of Jake. May you find comfort in knowing he is finally free. Our love always!

    • Kayla Curry

      I first met Jake back in the 3rd grade at LaGrange elementary. He was a good friend:) After I moved we didnt speak as much up until a couple years ago but even then something felt a little off. If I knew he was fighting this I would have tried to help the best I could even from 4hours away. I remember when his gf passed it was hard on him and we talked since then. I am so sorry for your loss 🙁 Like i said Jake was a good friend and classmate

    • Tricia

      Im so sorry for your loss! Loosing a loved one is never easy but loosing one to addiction seems harder. May God be with you all during this difficult time. Much love and many prayers!

  13. Carol Olson

    My deepest sympathy to all of you. He is now at peace with no longer having to fight the demons of addiction. God bless you all😢🙏🏻

  14. Natasha

    I am so sorry for the tragic loss of your son.

  15. Reta Epps

    I do not know your family, but such heartfelt words will forever stay with me. I am so sorry for your loss.

  16. Josephine Piper

    Praying for special mercies and comfort for you all. Your love and courage are not unnoticed nor unappreciated.

  17. Tricia Sebranek

    So sorry for everyone. It must of been a hard battle. Hugs!

    • Victoria Watkins

      So very sorry for your family’s loss!

  18. Larry Goodman

    To Jake’s family,
    So very sorry to hear this sad news, you have my deepest sympathy, my thoughts and prayers are with you!!!

    • patricia stevens

      As an addict in recovery, my heart goes out to all of you. May Jacob rest in peace and may family members be held in love. The battle wounds are deep. I pray for healing. 💜

  19. Aunt Shirley--Uncle Sabe

    So very sorry to hear the news. It’s so sad. Your message says it all. Our sympathy to all of you.. God bless!

    • Ann Wiest

      Shirley Ann, please give my condolences to Tom and Jane! So sad!

  20. Natalie Brockman

    I lost my son just over a year ago to a drug overdose. He was 33 and faught for his sobriety hard. My heart goes out to you. Please never blame yourselves…its not your fault. God Bless

  21. Amber aylsworth

    Absolutely broken hearted for the loss of your son. Jake had a good heart and I will miss him. Also thanks to you for having the courage to post your message. Addiction is Hell on Earth. It is the most painful thing imaginable and all consuming. My heart is with you Keri. Amber

  22. Cathy Lawrence

    May God Bless his memory…may he now rest in peace. ❤

  23. judy scheidegger

    Your message is wonderful and should be published somewhere. My prayers are with you.

  24. Hope

    Sorry for your loss you are right don’t judge instead listen,be there to pick them when fall and be there when they need a shoulder to cry or they want just tell people off frustrated never stop tell how a strong and bright person they are. Be safe and stay strong God is always by you.

  25. Aunt Shirley

    So very sorry for your loss. Rest in peace Jake.

    • Karin Roach

      My son’s path crossed your sons. He too struggles with addiction. Your comments mirror my life. I find comfort as well as pain in them. I pray my outcome is different, but know the odds are against us. I feel your loss deeply and pray for peace and serenity for you.

  26. Laura Marriott

    I had the pleasure of knowing the real Jake before drugs took a hold of him. He was a great guy and friend to my son. My thoughts and prayers are with you all.

  27. Michelle

    Bless you all.

  28. Linsey Rezin

    I am so sorry for your loss! It is simply awful what drugs do to an individual and the rippling effects it has on the family and friends in their life! You are definitely not alone in this as drug addiction is truly an epidemic that needs more attention! I will be praying for your family and that your message resonates! God Bless!

  29. Rose D.

    I did not personally know your son, but I wanted to thank you for your courage to share your journey. I am personally in recovery and my husband is as well – addiction does not discriminate and it is extremely powerful. Sending prayers and thoughts to you and your family.

  30. Gayle Casper-Reschke

    I’m so SORRY for the loss of ur son, I’m sure he was a fine young man!! Ur word’s about loving ur child who u watched go through addiction, are so so true. Every word of is, I’ve felt this pain far to long!! My oldest 2 children are addicts!! I’m so sorry love just isn’t enough! May Peace find it’s way into ur heart’s. RIP Young Jake

  31. Karen Kast

    So very sorry for yor loss

  32. Kathy Fanning

    So sad!! Been there. Lots of familiar names in this obituary. Condolences to all of you. Sending prayers

  33. Gina Rae

    Thank you for your courageous message. The Arndt’s are sending love to your family from all directions…

  34. Nancy(Schindler) Hammack

    Tom and Jane and family I am so sorry to hear of your loss. I know exactly what his parents went through and please tell them how sorry I am. Lost our son in 2004. Prayers to all of you.

  35. Lynn OBrien

    So sorry to hear this Keri. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. May he finally be at peace

  36. Tom Sebranek

    I am so sorry for the loss of Jacob. My prayers are with all of you at this most difficult time. Great message that you shared with all. God Bless all of you!

  37. Maridene Parr

    Keri I am so sad for you and this tragic loss. My stepdaughter in law is married to Zebulon Hericks and Zeb posted his sadness last week over this loss. One is never prepared for this kind of pain and never could be. You and your family are in my thoughts. Maridene Parr (ESP) Viroqua

  38. Sandy Hansen

    So sorry to hear, prays and hugs to you all. You are in out thoughts and prays.

  39. Jared Seaton

    Hello, My name Is Jared. You don’t know me. But I wanted to reach out and send my condolences. I am in recovery, every day I am grateful for this. I am very sorry he lost this battle. I and my brothers and sisters in recovery will keep fighting for him, your family, and others that are in this battle. May he rest in peace, and may you and your family find peace.

  40. Bartholomew Family

    Deepest sympathy to all. Sending hugs and prayers to all of you.

    Rose, Bob and Cliff

  41. Travis

    Sorry to hear about your loss what your family had to say was very hear touching o know there is no words to describe but no I send my deepest sympathy to the family❤️❤️

  42. Jared & Angie Gruen and family

    We are so very sorry to hear about Jake. Prayers and hugs to you all.

  43. Mary Nading

    I was so sorry to hop on FB and learn of your loss tonight. I didn’t know Jacob, but I knew your pain. I read the piece posted on addiction and it couldn’t be more spot on. It is a hard battle with the reality that the addict has to want to win the battle. When they are too broken to begin, the helplessness leaves you feeling powerless. God now holds him in his arms and makes him whole again. My prayers are with all of you today and everyday forward.

  44. Dan Cathy Braund

    Our heartfelt love and sympathy during this very difficult time. Keeping you in our prayers. Thank you for your heartfelt message. God Bless

  45. Pat Lemke

    My deepest sympathy! As a mom of an addict my heart aches for you! 💔 A parents greatest fear! Thank you for sharing this heartfelt message! Please know you are in my thoughts & prayers! May God give you comfort & peace in the coming days! R.I.P Jake!

  46. Ann Salem

    I am so sorry for your loss. Sending prayers to your family.

  47. Kari Steinhoff

    I am so sorry to hear of the loss of your son Jacob. Know that you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

  48. Heidi Bird

    So very sorry for your loss…you are in our thoughts and prayers. He was much too young.

  49. David and Jennifer Gruen

    Deepest sympathy to all of Jake’s family for your loss. The message you shared about Jake’s battle went straight to our hearts. We will always remember a very nice young man.

  50. Sue Schlegel

    Sue Schlegel here, first cousin to Tom Hericks. On behalf of our family our deepest sympathy.

  51. Jan Smith

    Keri ~ so sorry for your loss.

  52. Donelle

    My sincere condolences. As a mom of an addict also I feel your pain. I will pray for your family. May your son Rest In Peace and may your memories of your son before addiction live long in your memories.

  53. anonymous

    I am so sorry for your loss. I did not know your son. You state how life is living with an addict so well. You definitely are not alone. I pray for peace for you all.

  54. Sue Wermund

    I’m Reenie Schauf’s sister. Keri, what a beautiful letter from the depths of your heart. My deepest condolences as your family heals and remembers the good times. When Jake is resurrected, he’ll be young & healthy again 😊

  55. Susan B

    I am so very sorry for your family’s pain and for this devastating loss! I am grateful for the courage which with you have shared the tragedy of losing your son and brother so openly and honestly. Please know that you are not alone and that Jacob and all who love him are being lifted up in love and light. May you one day come to know peace!

  56. Lori Wellert

    Our deepest sympathies go out to the family and friends.
    Hanger Clinic La Crosse

  57. Anonymous

    I had the pleasure of being part of Jakes care team. I watched him fight hard, setting goals and reaching them over the last year. He was smart and funny, and will be missed by many. I am so sorry to learn of his passing, and wish you all peace in his passing.


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