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Roger Alan Schwartz


1931 - 2020
Roger Alan Schwartz Obituary
Roger A. Schwartz died at home in Mendocino, California on December 25, 2019, after three years of living with metastatic prostate cancer. He was 88 years old. Roger and Fran, his wife of 58 years, first discovered the North Coast in 1964. In June 2005 they consummated their long Coastal love affair by relocating from Los Angeles to Mendocino. Roger immersed himself in his new community, applying for appointment to the board of the Mendocino City Community Services District. As a volunteer board member, and later as MCCSD president for eight years, Roger was closely involved in a number of treatment plant, streetlight and water system upgrades. Managing the limited groundwater supply was a challenging responsibility during several droughts.A life-long lover of classical music, Roger joined the board of the Mendocino Music Festival and served 14 years. He also became a member of the Mendocino Rotary Club, serving as treasurer. In 2013, he founded a men's discussion group which met weekly at the Fort Bragg Senior Center. He was particularly invested in this group which continues to serve men in the coast community.Roger was born November 3, 1931, in Los Angeles, the only child of Mary and Albert Schwartz. He graduated from John Marshall High School in 1949 and received a scholarship to Stanford University, where he earned both a B.A. in International Relations (class of '53) and an M.A. in Political Science (class of '55). Between earning two degrees, he spent a year in Strasbourg, France as a Fulbright Scholar.In 1963 Roger and his father started a wholesale importing business, Reliance International Marketing Company (RIMCO), which they ran successfully for 23 years. After retirement in 1999, Roger trained as a senior peer counselor at the Center for Healthy Aging in Santa Monica. He also volunteered with the Executive Service Corps.Throughout his life, Roger maintained an abiding interest in the natural world. In his youth he belonged to the Trailfinders. He was never happier than hiking a trail, contemplating the night sky, or gazing with wonder into the tiny cosmos of a tide pool. He transmitted this love to his children, Stephen and Liz, on adventurous family vacations throughout the West. Roger demonstrated a life-long affinity for outdoor exercise, from long-distance bike riding to jogging to golf. For 35 years he was a regular at early morning rounds of golf at Braemar Country Club. Roger possessed a dry sense of humor and a keen insight into others. He enjoyed intellectual inquiry; thoughtful discussions on a multitude of topics; terrible puns; his nightly gin and tonic; full-sour kosher dill pickles; and anything with garlic.Above all else, Roger treasured his family. He is survived by his wife Fran; daughter Liz and her wife Beth; son Stephen and his wife Lynn; and granddaughter Lily. Donations in Roger's memory may be made to the Mendocino Music Festival at mendocinomusic.org. and to the Mendocino Area Parks Association (Mendo Parks) at mendoparks.org.
Published in the Los Angeles Times on Feb. 16, 2020
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