Swartz, Melvin Jay
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Melvin Jay (Mel) Swartz, 82, died at home in Olympia WA on Thursday, June 6, 2013 surrounded by family and friends. Mel was independent and empathic, a gentle man with a playful spirit. He always followed his own unique, internal guide and could be counted on for a hilarious joke or insightful story. Mel was innately generous, committed to social justice and loved to help people. He prioritized children, even those who were not his own. He was born in Boston on July 21, 1930. He graduated from Syracuse University and earned his LL.B. degree from Boston University School of Law. He was licensed to practice in New York and Arizona. He moved to Arizona in 1960 and was dubbed the first eldercare lawyer and the first lawyer to have an office in Sun City. He represented over 9,000 retired clients who benefited from his 40-year practice in the area of estate planning. He was a member of probate, tax and estate planning committees of The American Bar Association, Arizona Bar Association, New York Bar Association, Maricopa County Bar Association, Scottsdale Bar Association and the Central Arizona Estate Planning Council. Between 1978 and 1983 he wrote a column, Swartz on Aging, for The News Sun in Sun City. He was a successful author of Don't Die Broke (MacMillan, New York, NY 1975,1976, E.P. Dutton, 1991) that recorded vignettes resulting from his many years of practice; the book strongly cautioned readers to consult a lawyer and other financial professionals before making decisions. Retire without Fear was published by the Kaplan Publishing in 1994. Seven Locks Press published another book, Dear Wife, Dear Widow, in 2009. He is survived by his daughter, Julianne Swartz of Stone Ridge NY, his son, Jonathan Swartz of Tumwater WA, as well as his former wife, Beth Ames Swartz of Paradise Valley, and three grandchildren who adored their grandfather. Services will be held in Olympia WA and, at a date to be determined; a subsequent memorial service will be held in Paradise Valley.
Published in The Arizona Republic on June 8, 2013