Charles Frank Schwartz Sr., "Charlie", passed away quietly on the morning of June 17th, 2014 at 87 years young in Lodi, California. Born in 1927 in New Bedford, Mass. to U. S. Navy Seaman Charles F. Schwartz and Julia Dubois Schwartz, Charlie led a life of adventure and fun in work and play while always doing it his way.
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As a child he left home at 13 and rode the rails as a hobo through the Northeast. He joined a carnival as a roustabout and performed as the "Boy with the Iron Tongue" along the Mississippi River down to Arkansas. In January of 1942, seven days after his 15th birthday, he lied about his age and joined the Marines. For the next three years he was stationed in the Pacific where he was wounded twice, landing in the first wave of the invasion of Saipan Island. In 1944, while at the Naval Hospital in Oakland, CA, he met the love of his life, Annie, and after a 3 week romance they married and raised their two boys in Castro Valley before moving to Walnut Creek CA in 1964.
Upon his retirement in 1989, Charlie and Annie relocated to Lodi CA so Annie could be near old friends and Charlie could be near the Delta with his boat and the fish. With only an 8th grade education Charlie became an Electrician, rising through the union and corporate ranks to head the construction operations in the Western States for one of the top 10 electrical contracting firms in the nation, working on projects from the first floating movable oil platform to nuclear test sites in Nevada.
During his life, Charlie built a legacy of love around family and friends that will always endure, to be told and retold in stories and tall tales through the years. His pride in his Marine Corps service, his years in the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, the National Electrical Contractors Association, his mythical prowess in fishing the Delta and Liars Dice are all surpassed by the pride he held for the family he led. Charlie was married to Ann L. Schwartz for 67 year until her passing in 2012, and he is survived by two sons, Ronald V. Schwartz of California, Charles F. Schwartz Jr. of Arizona, five grandsons Jon (Ilene), Benjamin (Jennifer), Mathieu (Jessica), Addam (Christy) and Gregory Schwartz, as well as ten great grandchildren Brittany, Audrey, Alissa, Zackary, Katie, Joshua, Tyler, Trevor, Trent and Tucker Schwartz. From one man and woman, came a river of life. As a family we wish to give special thanks to Emily Sanchez Roland and Gary Stoklasa for their loving care and friendship for Charlie, especially through his final illness. Services for Charlie will be held on Saturday, July 5th, at 11:00 AM, at the Lodi Funeral Home, 725 South Fairmont Avenue, Lodi, CA.
Lodi Funeral Home
725 South Fairmont Lodi, CA 95240
Published in Lodi News-Sentinel from June 27 to July 4, 2014