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Life Story / Obituary
Robert Anthony Schwarz, 72, died peacefully on December 22, 2016, at Holland Hospital. He was born on October 14, 1944, to Frank and Andrea Schwarz, who preceded him in death. Rob graduated from Holland High School in 1962. In1968, he married Jean Bacon in Holland, and their son, Dana was born in 1973. Rob spent his career at Elhart Pontiac in Holland. Following a stroke in 1983, he became a strong advocate for disability rights, as a longtime board member of the Disability Network of Holland, and during the early days of the Cannonsburg Challenged Ski Association in Grand Rapids. Wherever Rob went, people greeted him as their friend – especially as he “did his laps” downtown in his wheelchair. Rob loved Holland history, Hope College basketball, watching sports on TV, and fishing from the accessible dock off Lake Macatawa. A devout Catholic with a beautiful tenor voice, Rob was a cantor and choir member of St. Francis de Sales Church, his childhood parish. Rob is survived by Jean, his beloved wife of 48 years; son Dana and wife Katie; granddaughters Saylor Elise and Tessa Pearl; six siblings Nina, Peter (Spring Sweeney); Mario (Jan); Willy (Sabine Mehlem); Becky (and the late Tom Schneider); and Eileen (Jimmy Duty); sister-in-law Alice (Bill) Brooks; and many nieces, nephews and extended family members. He was a devoted husband, father, grandfather, brother and uncle, and an inspiration to all who knew him. He leaves behind a community of treasured lifelong friends. The Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at St. Francis de Sales Church in Holland, on Tuesday, December 27, at 4:00 P.M. Visitation will take place one hour prior to the Mass at 3 P.M. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in Rob’s name to the Lakeshore Disability Network, and Hospice of Holland.