Harley R. Schwarz, 80, of Missoula, Mont., passed away on Thursday, July 31, 2014, at St. Patrick Hospital.
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Harley was born in Fessenden, N.D. on Nov. 12, 1933 to Ross and Lydia (Neumiller) Schwarz. Harley grew up and attended school in Bozeman.
Harley met the love of his life (Mary Elizabeth Cox) at the age of 17. The two of them were high school sweethearts and married on May 16, 1954. They had just celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary in May.
Harley served in the U.S. Navy from 1952 through 1954 and served on the USS Toledo. He served in the Korean War and was honorably discharged in December 1956. During the Navy, he served as a radioman.
After his service in the Navy, Harley and Mary started out on their adventure of life. Harley was an air traffic controller in Portland, Ore., Whitehall, Mont., and Klamath Falls, Ore. Harley and Mary finally settled in Missoula, Mont. where he was an air traffic controller at the Missoula Airport from 1962 to 1985.
Harley was a very active outdoorsman. He was on the Missoula Ski Patrol for 35+ years and patrolled at Marshall Ski Area. He was a certified EMT instructor and taught first aid classes. He also loved to go on long backpacking trips. He would take friends from Minnesota back into the Mission Mountains and Bitterroot Wilderness for weeks at a time. He loved to fish, hunt, shoot skeet. He loved his flowers and took great pride in making sure his lawn and flowers were well manicured. His was finally able to see his black hollyhocks bloom just before his death.
Harley was a very loving husband, father and grandfather. Survivors include his wife, Mary E. Schwarz; son, Jeffrey T. Schwarz; two daughters, Kathryn A. Schwarz aka Kate Brasco and Susan D. Schwarz. Harley had four grandchildren, Kaleb, Nicole, Kate and Conner and three great-grandchildren. He is also survived by his brother, Claire G. Schwarz; sisters, Fern Rampy and Jane Fulker. He was preceded in death by a daughter, Cari Lynn Schwarz; his parents, brother, Ken Schwarz and sister, Frances Geary.
A private burial will be held at the Missoula Cemetery. A celebration of life will be held on Saturday, Aug. 9, 2014 from 2 to 5 p.m. at the home of Howard and Susan Dickey, 4018 Timberlane, Missoula, Mont. We invite friends to come and share their stories about Harley. In lieu of flowers, we suggest a donation be made to the
Garden City Funeral Home is assisting the family. Condolences and memories may be left for the family at www.missoulafuneralhomes.com.
Published in Bozeman Daily Chronicle on Aug. 5, 2014