20 January, 1937 – 30 April, 2020
After a protracted and valiant battle with COVID-19 and a related bacterial infection, Jack Schweber died on April 30, 2020 at Somerset Hospital. The mettle and tenacity with which he fought until the very end defined him in death no less than in life.
Born January 20, 1937 to immigrant parents, Morris and Jean Schweber, in tenement housing on the Lower East Side, Jack overcame an early childhood beset by poverty and illness. From a young age, he suffered from a debilitating skin condition that often made the simplest activities, like getting dressed, a formidable hardship. However, with the assistance of a Jewish charity, he moved to Denver at age 13, enrolling in a school for underprivileged children and leaving behind his family in New York. The pristine mountain air succored him, clearing his skin and inspiring his lifelong reverence for the Rocky Mountains and the American West.
His reprieve from adversity didn’t last very long however. At age 18, his father Morris died suddenly, and the loss compelled Jack to return to New York to support his widowed mother. Acquiring his bachelor’s degree in night school at the City College of New York, Jack worked days as a salesman, getting high enough grades to earn free tuition. College would have exceeded his means otherwise. And the opportunities CCNY provided, along with his academic achievements there, figured among his greatest sources both of pride and of gratitude.
Jack married his wife Renée (née Rosman) in 1966 and fathered two sons: Matthew in 1969; Adam in 1974. He doted on them well into their adulthood and nourished a love for them often resembling adulation. Indeed Jack strove, above all else, for a better life for his children— a life free of the burdens he had to shoulder—and achieved it by dint of tireless persistence and implacable will. Both his sons were the unsurpassed pride and joy of his life.
In a similar vein, a former co-worker aptly nicknamed him “The Bear”—occasionally gruff, frequently overbearing, always relentless but also a fiercely loyal, trusted, and admired colleague. During the last twenty years of Jack’s professional career, he worked as a senior account executive for Digital Equipment Corporation—which following two mergers became Compaq Computers and later, Hewlett Packard. There, Jack won several sales awards, weathered several corporate downsizings, and earned effusive praise from the clients he serviced.
In his retirement, Jack pursued his lifelong passions for music and learning while honoring his past. He sang in the Temple Emanuel choir in Edison, New Jersey. He led community seminars exploring Diaspora culture and history, and he attended adult education classes in fields as diverse as Jewish history and science. He also frequently returned to America’s national parks and closer to home, delighted family and friends with guided tours of the New York City neighborhoods that marked his childhood. Jack is survived by his loving wife Renée; his beloved sons, Matthew and Adam; his daughter “in-law,” Rachel, whom he loved as much as his two biological children. In addition to his immediate family, he is survived by his niece and nephew, Rhonda and Alan, the children of his late sister, Shirley Goldstein; along with his first cousin, Shmuel, the son of Jean Schweber’s brother, Meyer Wolfman. In lieu of flowers, the family asks mourners to make a memorial contribution in Jack’s name to any of the following charities: The World Jewish Congress, The Museum of Eldridge Street, Center for Disease Control’s Emergency Response Fund.
Friday, 1 May , 2020
May 20, 2020
I had the pleasure of working with Jack during my 31 year tenure at Digital, Compaq and HP. I was a member of the Service Management Team and I worked many IT Customer Outages with Jack and also assisted him on several of his sales calls. He was always professional, he had a tenacious drive to succeed and, above all, he was a nice guy! I'm sorry to hear the sad new of his passing. Condolences to his wife, his sons (and daughter-in-law) and all his friends....God Bless Him!
Helen /Barbara Sternlict/Beroff
May 6, 2020
To The Family,
I am the family ancestry tree keeper and I just sent Jack an email asking about his grandmother. When I didn't hear back, I decided to google his name and unfortunately I learned of his passing.
We are so sorry to learn of Jack's passing. My mom Helen Sternlicht Beroff was a 1st cousin to Jack and they spent a lot of time together growing up.
My moms grandmother Dora Schweber Sternlicht and Morris Schweber (Jack's dad) were siblings. Shirley was best friends with my mom's sister Lillie Sternlicht Good.
May his memory be a blessing.
Barbara Beroff Friedman
Helen Sternlicht Beroff
May 6, 2020
Dear Adam and Rachel,
The first time I had a remote religious experience was when I officiated the wedding of Dr. Adrienne Alaie and Mr. Michael Gertsch. My husband, Michael, and your wife, Rachel ,were vacationing together in London, England, Mr. Gertschs' family was in Switzerland. We had several laptops set up so that people could utilize FaceTime to join the matrimonials. It was lovely.
All that said, 3 years later, you both did a masterful job allowing all of us to share in Jack's shiva - albeit in a new, strange, non-traditional, and never-before-imagined venue. Love the photo of Jack! what a great smile! We planted a tree in Israel in his honor. Giving you and your entire family our deepest condolences and virtual hugs. With love, Dr. Laurence Dopkin & Mr. Michael Chamberlain
May 4, 2020
I was so sad to hear of Jack's passing. I knew Jack over the past several years as a member of our Florida winter Discussion Group on Jewish Topics. Jack often gave the main talk at the meeting and except for the past winter, when he did not come to Florida, he recently led our group. He will be sorely missed.
May 3, 2020
Jack and I were partners at Compaq and HP though I lived in CO. He became like a sort of father to me- he really wanted to know and care. If you got to know Jack- he was a loving and giving man. He dearly loved his family as he spoke about them often and was proud. He took a day to ride the train all the way out to Brighton Beach and show me around. I had never been there though grew up in S. Jersey. It was a very special day to me and I will never forget it. I wish I could share more details. He was always introspective of all the historical architecture in NYC when we walked about for our jobs. He also noticed the little things and they meant so much when one can so overlook how special life can be. He was a kind caring person that tried to pretend to be tough. I miss him dearly already. I was blessed in knowing him.
May 1, 2020
I am sad to learn of Jack’s passing. As a neighbor for many years our families have shared contractors and other local workers . Locally families bonded together and connected to prevent overbuilding ; keeping the neighborhood safe. My condolences to Renee, Mathew and Adam ...... May your memories of good times be a blessing ...