Richard Frederick Schwarz, 88: veteran, reluctant gardener
CUMBERLAND — Richard Frederick Schwarz, 88, died Nov. 21 at Mercy Hospital after a long period of declining health. He was born in Portland on May 20, 1924, the second son of William Frederick and Georgiana Mae (Mitchell) Schwarz.
He was educated in Portland schools and graduated from Deering High School with the class of 1943.
He enlisted in the U.S. Navy during World War II and saw action as a hospital corpsman on D-Day, ferrying troops and bringing back the wounded and dead. From there he was assigned to a hospital ship in the South Pacific and Philippines. He was discharged as a first class petty officer.
Schwarz returned to Portland and graduated from Northeastern College. He then went on to graduate from Burdett College in Boston with a degree in accounting. In 1952 he married Helen Iris Lusth and together they moved to New Haven, Conn., where Schwarz worked for Pratt Whitney. He went on to work for the U.S. Postal Service and when an opening came up in Portland he applied for a transfer and the family has been back in Maine since 1961. He retired from the Postal Service in 1997.
Schwarz spent his time with his family and over the years they enjoyed camping in Acadia and especially at Moody’s Campground in Waldoboro. He also did some skiing. He helped his wife with gardening. He planted 75 blueberry bushes and would put up netting to protect the fruit from the birds. He was a member of the West Falmouth Baptist Church.
Schwarz is survived by his wife of 60 years, Helen Schwarz, of Cumberland; his son, Steven Schwarz, of Richmond; his daughter, Linnea Schwarz, of Cumberland; his daughter, Lisa Gignac, of Cumberland; his grandchildren Michelle Schwarz; Richard Schwarz; Joseph Gignac; two great-grandchildren; his sister, Bessie Lund, of Jefferson; and many nieces and nephews.
He was predeceased by his brother, Robert Schwarz.
A service will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 8, at West Falmouth Baptist Church on 18 Mountain Road, Falmouth. Burial will be at a later date to be announced.