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Paul Schwartz

ARRIVED   July 4, 1966
DEPARTED   January 27, 2006

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  • Paul’s Obituary

    Paul Update 1.28.06

    and taking a breath…

    Bill here with the notice we’ve been both wanting and dreading.

    (Rita and Rob Schwartz and I wrote this collaboratively.)

    Our dear Brother and Friend Paul finally found a way to “let go”. He died peacefully Friday morning at sister Helen and her husband Ralph Montfort’s home in Bethesda.

    He was 39-years old, his life spanning July 4, 1966 to January 27, 2006, two coasts and many, many hearts. Paul died in his sleep without pain or struggle and at home just as he had hoped. He was comforted by all four of his sisters throughout his final night.

    His immediate family held a private Irish wake at the home. His sisters Claire, Rita and Margaret prepared Paul with gentle loving care. The room was beautiful with clean linen. All medical supplies were removed, and his favorite things were placed around him. The day was warm and the sun lit Paul’s room. He looked very peaceful. Please take comfort that Paul is no longer in any discomfort. And he is at peace.
    A friend who makes flags had recently sent Paul a couple of beautifully colored banners and many streamers. Helen suggested we all go outside and in a joyful manner we hung the streamers in the trees and flew the largest kite on the path to the house. The banners, swayed by a gentle breeze, told the whole neighborhood that our brother and friend was free. A day to rejoice. In Paul’s viewing room we hung a beautiful butterfly kite in the window, backlit by the sun.
    Paul donated his body to science, of course; he continues to give to others even now. He does not want anyone to go through what he did. Let’s hope they find a cure soon.

    When the time came to transport his body early Friday evening, his brothers, Leo, Robert and Tom and sister Margaret carried Paul to the waiting hearse. A beautiful white rose was placed over his heart. Eventually, Paul’s body will be cremated and the ashes returned to the family in twelve to eighteen months. He has requested that the family scatter his ashes in the Atlantic and the Pacific Oceans.

    A celebration of Paul’s life will be held in Bethesda, Maryland, on Saturday, February 4. It will be held at the River Road Unitarian Church, 6301 River Road at the corner of Whittier Blvd., at 2 pm, with a reception to follow. Paul requested that people dress casually.

    For those friends and family on the west coast, there’s no need to fly east because plans are being made for a celebration of his life in Santa Rosa later in February or early March. Details will be announced through these usual channels. (If anyone has a great natural setting for a large group sitting in a circle that we should consider, please let Bill know: billbb@sonic.net.)

    In lieu of flowers, if people wish to, they can make memorial donations to Montgomery Hospice, http://www.montgomeryhospice.org (under Gift Purpose, please choose Montgomery Hospice, General Support) or mail them to 1355 Piccard Drive, Suite 100, Rockville, MD 20850. The people at Montgomery Hospice were fantastic with Paul!

    If people are inspired to send a card, they can write to the Schwartz family in care of: The Montfort’s, 6709 Brigadoon Drive, Bethesda, MD 20817.

    Paul’s family writes:

    Many thanks to Bill for being Paul’s second voice; know the Schwartz family considers you part of the family.
    Many thanks to Stewart Scofield for all of the wonderful updates you wrote as well.
    To everybody else, thanks for your incredible support and love.

    His sister Helen remarks, “Paul has more friends than anyone else I know!”


    And brother Rob writes:

    He accomplished so much and affected so many people in his life. He was an award winning documentarian, teacher, and photographer.

    His documentary on the Santa Rosa Fire Department won many awards and affected so many in the fire fighting community. He was also an award-winning photographer. You can go to his web site to see his work: http://www.zeugmapress.com
    Recently, he was awarded Teacher of the Year in Northern California. He taught Multi-Media in a community center in Santa Rosa, California.

    As you can tell, I am very proud of my baby brother and all his accomplishments. He kept his humor until the end, and now I know he is with our Mom in heaven … probably at the beach. They both loved the ocean so much. 🙂

    And from Bill:

    I still cannot identify the quality that allowed Paul into so many hearts, but I know it had something to do with “those soft, melty brown eyes of his,” as Rita described them in her recent letter. His eyes were a direct pathway into his heart and I have known few people with the integrity, gentleness and caring that he brought to all his encounters.

    I used to tease Paul that he was one of the most spiritual persons I knew, though he would strongly deny it. Yet in recent months, he came to understand the ways of Spirit freed from the judgmental images some carry in our culture.

    Paul was a man of great heart, and if that isn’t spiritual, I don’t know what is.

    He was finally healed, as healing corresponds to becoming whole. He was held by so many of us in so much love that he could no longer separate from All-That-Is. And so he died, healed. His one great concern at the end was for the planet and the sorry mess we humans are making of it. I assured him we would do what we could to make the world better. He certainly did that during his time among us.


    God Bless all Paul’s family and friends and continue to watch over his Brothers and Sisters at the Santa Rosa Fire Department.

    Rejoice. Paul is free to go wherever he wishes, free of pain, free of worry. (And, Paul, trust us…you will not be bored in heaven).

    Thank You Paul for being in our lives. You made this world so much better. More than you ever realized.


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