Remembering Charles Schwarz

We recently learned that one of our volunteers, Charles Schwarz, passed away. Charlie, as he was known to us, joined the Four Freedoms Park community in early 2014, quickly becoming one of the most steadfast and loyal members of our volunteer group. He visited the Park most weekends, driving from his home in Astoria across the 59th St. bridge to share his love of and extensive knowledge in Rooseveltian history with those lucky enough to find themselves in his tour group. 

 Thank you, Charlie, for the wonderful contributions you made to the Park, our community, and beyond. You will be greatly missed.

His obituary, printed in the NY Times, is below.

87, died peacefully at home in Astoria, NY on September 10, 2016. He is survived by his loving wife of 59 years, Palma, his beloved daughters, Valerie Schwarz Mason, Tomasina Schwarz, and Margaret Schwarz and his adored grandchildren, Cameron, Charlie and Dana. Charlie was born October 4, 1928 in Detroit, Michigan. After briefly living in Berlin, Germany, the family settled back in Astoria, New York, where Charlie was known as the neighborhood’s best roller hockey player. After graduation from Bryant High School, he returned to West Berlin with the US Army (where he managed both to slip into East Berlin to visit his grandmother and receive an offer to join the German national soccer team as a goalie). Charlie studied at the Pratt Institute and Cooper Union. He worked for over 60 years in advertising, cutting a figure straight out of “Mad Men”, except without ever having a martini. Known in the industry as the “Korinna Kid”, he was a skilled typographer, and his personal style was as sharp as his knowledge of typefaces. In the late 90’s, GQ magazine gave him a special mention in its annual “best dressed” issue. He was an avid sportsman, often traveling with a tennis racquet in the hopes of finding a tournament to enter. It was not unusual for him to come home with a trophy. He coached his office softball team at the age of 70 and played doubles with Andre Agassi at the age of 80. Charlie served on the Board of the Astoria Civic Association for years, particularly enjoying its scholarship committee. He became a Civil War expert, treasured by fellow members of the Civil War Forum of Metropolitan New York, where he served as a Vice President, and was specially honored with “The Sergeant Charlie Schwarz Award”, and published the Forum’s regular newsletter, “The Sharpshooter.” After retiring on his 85th birthday, his passion for history led him to Roosevelt Island, where he served as a tour guide for the Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park. He was widely loved, and will be greatly missed.


Via NY Times.