CHARLES SCHULZ once drew his iconic dog Snoopy losing everything in a house fire. This week, for Schulz’s widow, that scenario became all too real.
Jean Schulz safely escaped the fires as they began sweeping through Santa Rosa, Calif., before dawn Monday, but the blaze burned to the ground the home where she and the late “Peanuts” creator long lived.
“I am devastated by the loss of the home I shared with Sparky for 25 years,” Schulz tells The Washington Post’s Comic Riffs, “the memories of which filled me with happiness every day.”
The split-level hillside home was built in the ’70s and had housed a drawing table that belonged to the beloved cartoonist, who died in 2000, as well as some “Peanuts” keepsakes.
Jean Schulz is president of the board for the Charles M. Schulz Museum and Research Center, which was opened in Santa Rosa in 2002. The museum, which houses most of the original “Peanuts” art and much memorabilia, announced Thursday that it will close until further notice because of a lack of power, while also noting that the building was spared from damage.
“I am grateful,” Jean Schulz says, “that the museum in Santa Rosa [still] exists to share the work of this wonderful man with the world.”
Santa Rosa is dotted with tributes and “Peanuts” character statues marking the memory of the Minnesota-born cartoonist, who became a favorite son in Sonoma County while living in the area for four decades.
One of his sons, Craig Schulz, also lost his home in the Santa Rosa fires — one of nearly 3,000 homes destroyed in the city.
More than 30 people have died in California’s deadliest series of wildfires in 80 years, and hundreds of people are still missing.