Harold Schwartz, 68, born November 8, 1939 in Chehalis, WA, died of complications of diabetes September 3, 2008 in Palm Springs, CA, surrounded by his beloved family. Harold was preceded in death by his father, Nathan Schwartz and mother Esther Schwartz. He is survived by his former wife and cherished friend, Joanne: three children, David (Wendy), Robin, and Mychal (Rachel); brother Ken; sister Gloria Newman, as well as four grandchildren and a large network of extended friends and family. Harold attended the University of Washington where he was a member of the Sigma Alpha Mu fraternity. He graduated with a BA in English and returned to Chehalis where he embarked on a career as a high school teacher. He would later receive an MA from Portland State University. He taught at W.F. West High School for 29 years- long enough to teach multiple generations of students as well as two nieces, a nephew and his own children. In addition to teaching, Harold was the long time advisor of the student yearbook and later the advisor for the foreign exchange program with W.F. West's sister school Seirei Christopher in Hamamatsu, Japan. After retiring in 1991, Harold continued his association with Seirei Christopher, working on their behalf to organize foreign exchange programs throughout Western Washington. During this time he made numerous trips to Japan and enjoyed a deep appreciation for Japanese culture. In addition to traveling to Japan, Harold had the opportunity to travel to many parts of the world, including Israel, China and much of Europe. He particularly enjoyed cruising with Joanne after his retirement. Harold is remembered for a wide range of talents and interests outside the classroom. He was a terrific cook and he and Joanne entertained regularly, times in which the house was filled with conversation, laughter and wonderful company. In addition, his home was always filled with fresh cut flowers from his yard including the dozens of roses and calla lilies which he grew. In 2004, Harold embarked on a new phase of his life, moving to Palm Springs and enjoying the diversity that came with his new city. He volunteered, substitute taught and enjoyed socializing with many new friends with whom he had much in common. The family asks that remembrances in Harold's name be made to the Desert AIDS Project, 1695 North Sunrise Way, Palm Springs, CA 92262.
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Published in The Desert Sun on Sept. 9, 2008