Ryan Cox Schwartz, 32, of Belleville, Ill., born Oct. 6, 1971, passed into eternal life Friday, Sept. 17, 2004, at Memorial Hospital, Belleville, Ill., following a difficult illness.
Mr. Schwartz was a 1990 graduate of Belleville Township High School West. Ryan was working toward a degree in physical education at St. Louis Community College at Forest Park. Bringing an enthusiasm and energy into the classroom, he was overjoyed at the genuine praise he received during student teaching. Ushering for the St. Louis Cardinals filled him with pride and provided him with many thrilling moments.
Ryan was a member of Cornerstone Christian Church and an avid member of the Collinsville 4129-8 (District) of International Toastmasters. He achieved the level of Advanced Toastmaster Silver and Competent Leader. Most recently, he served as vice president of membership and twice previously as secretary.
He possessed a special innocence about life that allowed him to view with wonder and excitement, those things that many take for granted. He was steadfastly loyal to his family and friends, sincere, tender, protective, selfless and unconditionally accepting. Ryan's heart overflowed with compassion and generosity. Caring little about material possessions, he shared without hesitation whatever he had, even with strangers who seemingly had less. He took time to listen and to help. His unbounded caring emanated from within and without any need for accolade or recognition.
Ryan's courage during his life trials and final illness taught us about the abiding strength of his faith, his deep capacity to love and to forgive, and the quiet dignity with which he lived his life. He enriched the lives of his family and friends and blessed each of us with how he loved his own.
He is survived by his parents, Rudy and Ragina "Gina" Schwartz of Belleville, Ill.; a brother, Garrett Schwartz of Cape Girardeau, Mo.; and his beloved fiancee, Mary Catherine McAteer, of Belleville, Ill.
In honor of Ryan's lifetime example, memorials may be made to the "Indigent Care Fund, Memorial Hospital Foundation."
Visitation: Friends may call from 4 to 8 p.m. Monday, Sept. 20, 2004, and from 10 to 11 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2004, at Kurrus Funeral Home, Belleville, Ill.
Funeral: Funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2004, at Kurrus Funeral Home, Belleville, Ill., with the Rev. Rick Hodshire officiating. In keeping with Ryan's wishes, funeral services will also be held at Northcutt and Son Home for Funerals, 400 Fraley Drive, Morehead, Ky., on Thursday, Sept. 23, 2004. Burial will be in his family's Cox-Christian Cemetery, Morehead, Ky.
KURRUS FUNERAL HOME, Belleville, Ill.
Published in Belleville News-Democrat from Sept. 19 to Sept. 20, 2004