SCHWARTZ—Charles William Schwartz III, 66, formerly of Florence, passed away May 13, 2013, after a brief battle with small cell lung cancer.
We lost a great musical wonder in Charlie Schwartz.
He was also a generous father, grandfather, brother and friend, and his hearty laugh and love of life will be greatly missed.
Born Sept. 17, 1946, to Dr. Lloyd and Donna Schwartz in Topeka, Kan., Charlie was the youngest of three children. Gifted with a perfect musical ear and drawn to both vocal and instrumental performance, he majored in music at Washburn University in Topeka. He graduated with a degree in classical alto saxophone, but was called up to serve in the Vietnam War before his commencement.
He served honorably in the U.S. Navy aboard the U.S.S. Kitty Hawk as a saxophonist in the ship’s band. The closest action was just across the Gulf of Tonkin.
He was discharged from the Navy in San Diego, Calif., where his two eldest children were later born.
Charlie, Chuck, or “C.W.” as he was often called, was blessed with the ability to play any instrument. He often entertained at Lovejoy’s and The Mill Casino when not touring elsewhere in Oregon, Washington, Arizona or California.
His musical background encompassed jazz, blues, rock ’n’ roll, zydeco, gospel and everything in between. He taught music at Siuslaw High School and was an active member of the worship team at Florence Evangelical Church and Mansfield Christian Church in Missouri.
Ever the nomad, Charlie moved to Missouri in 2006. He planned to retire to Coquille later this year.
Charlie is survived by his children: Alayna Louise Cole, James Tyler Schwartz and Sarah Jennifer Bahan; his brother James L. Schwartz; his sister Peggy Case; and granddaughter Abigail Louise Cole.
A celebration of life is planned for Saturday, June 15, beginning at 3 p.m. at the family home of Romelle Renner in Florence.
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