OBITUARY

Christopher Michael Schwarz Sr.

September 11, 1964October 8, 2021
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Christopher Michael Schwarz Sr., 57, of Wheeling passed away on October 8, 2021. Loving husband of Beth Schwarz, nee Van Curen. Chris is survived by his children Christopher Jr. and Katharine Schwarz; his father Charles Schwarz Jr.; siblings Timothy (Donna) Schwarz, Annette (Dana Paternostro) Schwarz, and Daniel (Cheryl) Schwarz, many nieces, nephews and cousins. He was a beloved teacher, coach and friend. Chris was preceded in death by his mother Catherine Schwarz; and his siblings Mary Colleen Schwarz, and Michael Schwarz.

Visitation will be held on Wednesday, October 13, 2021 from 3-8pm at Lauterburg & Oehler Funeral Home, 2000 E Northwest Hwy, Arlington Heights. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Thursday, October 14, 2021 at 10:00am at St. Theresa Catholic Church, 455 N Benton Street, Palatine, IL. It is requested that friends meet at the church on Thursday morning.

The Funeral Mass will be livestreamed beginning at 10:00 AM Central Time. The link to watch is: https://youtu.be/YIBMoM-Pznl

Burial to follow at All Saints Catholic Cemetery in Des Plaines.

In lieu of flowers, donations to the Coach Chris Schwarz Memorial Scholarship Fund. Please make checks payable to Partnership Financial Credit Union, 5940 Lincoln Avenue, Morton Grove, IL. 60053 would be greatly appreciated. Please note in the memo section "Chris Schwarz Scholarship".

In consideration of the safety of our guests and associates, Lauterburg & Oehler Funeral Home will ask that proper social distancing be practiced and all guests wear face masks at all times. Thank you for your cooperation. For information 847-253-5423.

Services

  • Visitation

    Wednesday, October 13, 2021

  • Funeral Mass

    Thursday, October 14, 2021

  • Committal Service

    Thursday, October 14, 2021

Memories

Christopher Michael Schwarz Sr.

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George Perrett

October 19, 2021

Chris was a classmate at Kenyon. While I was a Delt and Chris a Beta, we would often pass each other in class or in the hallways of Leonard Hall, or see each other out and about.

Anyone who knew Chris knew him to be a funny, soft-spoken, and generous person, very giving of himself and with a great smile and laugh. I remember his laugh well.

I am so saddened to learn of his death and will keep him and all who loved him in my thoughts and prayers.

I was struck by the saying over the fireplace, “Always be humble and kind.” That describes the Chris I knew so very well. May your memories of him always be a blessing and may he Rest In Peace.

Todd Perrett
Kalamazoo, Michigan

Peter Harper

October 14, 2021

Chris was a beloved member of the Kenyon College baseball team. I played on the team with him in 1985 and 1986, and he was a great example to me as a younger player, with his baseball smarts and his gift of communicating. He was authentic, and he had a real sense of humor; the team loved him. Also, when my father passed away in 1985, he spoke to me a few different times about the tragedies in his own life. This was another gift of his; to realize what I was going through and to reach out in care and support. I will always look up to Chris as a role model but also as a "mensch" - a good guy, through and through. Much love to Chris' family, and I hope you're able to celebrate his wonderful example to all of us.

Steve & Pam Foerch

October 13, 2021

Our deepest sadness at the loss of Chris.

Jonathan Berkley

October 13, 2021

No person I have ever met, could connect with absolutely anyone like Mr. Schwarz. I selfishly want to say that he was "MY" favorite teacher, but thousands of NW students would say the same. His magic was the fact that those feelings, with every one of those students weren't superficial; They were all genuine, they were all unique based on the personality, interests and outlook of that student. How did he do it? How did he create a special and meaningful relationship with every student that he coached or taught? .... I don't know :) I think a lot of it had to do with having a fantastic, loving family; Some of it had to do with loving his job, and a continuous thirst for learning himself. But a lot of it had to do with his characteristics that were just innately part of who he was. He was just a real person, who loved life and loved watching young people grow socially, intellectually and spiritually. I am a better teacher, husband, father and friend for having known Coach Schwarz. My deepest condolences to his family, friends, colleagues and former students. May his memory be a blessing and an enduring inspiration.

John Lovestrand

October 13, 2021

Thank you Chris

For coaching and teaching our kids

Which is to say

Thank you Chris

For loving them

❤🖤❤

Dana “DJ” Paulsen-Harries

October 13, 2021

I had Chris for an honors history class my junior year. He was the reason I decided to major in history after I got out of the USMC. After I had my brain injury, I had to change majors, the way Chris taught was like no one else.
One day in class, he had us all tear out a page in the phone book. He told us all to start writing downs the names and phone numbers. No one questioned him. We all just did as he asked us to. After about 10 min or so he stopped us and said why did y’all do that? How come none of you asked why? It was a lesson on how Hitler was able to take over. We were angry with him at first, we were like, we trusted you, and Chris was like, yeah, and they trusted Hitler. By the end of class, we had so much more respect for Chris and his his teaching techniques were just so unique. He brought history to life.

I graduated in 93, but visited him at West several times over the years. He was an amazing man. May he rest in eternal peace. My thoughts and prayers are with his family.

Peter Kougias

October 13, 2021

From my first day of highschool until my last, I was fortunate enough to not only have Mr. Schwarz as a teacher and coach, but as someone who I could look up to. I remember going into freshman year being caught off guard by the workload and overall expectations that being a highschool student entails. While in most classes I felt lost, I always felt at home in Mr. Schwarz’s class. Mr. Schwarz’s daily presence helped lead me onto the right track and not only turned me into a better highschool student, but an even better student in college. Unlike most, I was fortunate enough to have Mr. Schwarz for three total classes, one my freshman year and two my senior year. Mr. Schwarz’s enthusiasm and joy for his lectures were unmatched. His stories that he heard directly from veterans helped bring the past to the present. Most importantly, these stories helped bring a human element to war, something that you cannot get from reading a textbook or even watching a movie. Out of all the things that stuck with me from Mr. Schwarz’s classroom, the most striking were the pictures of injured veterans that would be shown the first week of class. These images, coupled with his great stories, truly created a one of a kind experience. On the ball field, Mr. Schwarz not only taught me the fundamentals of the game but how to lose. Ultimately, you’re going to lose and make errors. What really matters is how you respond and continue to grow. His ability to let players know when they didn’t perform up to their ability not only made them better players, but better people. Outside of academics and highschool baseball, Mr. Schwarz was someone you could talk to about anything. As a whole, whether it was on the baseball field or in the classroom, Mr. Schwarz had an immeasurable impact on me. Without him, I truly do not believe I would be the same person. He will be greatly missed.

Tobias Harris

October 12, 2021

My relationship with Chris began when I was a freshman at Niles West, playing on his baseball team. I was, he said later, the only kid he ever coached who read on the buses to and from games. We struck up a rapport, talking regularly about history or politics or baseball even though it would not be until senior year that I would have an opportunity to have him as a teacher and truly see the passion he brought to the classroom every day. Like many of his former students, we stayed in touch after graduation, exchanging emails about articles we were working on or what was going on with the Cubs and Red Sox, although our communication had fallen off as I became a parent and advanced in my career.
What strikes me now is while I learned a lot from Chris about how to study history and how to hit a curveball, what I learned most of all was how to be a human being. What set Chris apart was that he treated every person – every student – with respect. He did not talk down to us, he listened to us, he took us seriously – but he also expected more. He expected the same from every student he taught and every player he coached. He communicated his passion and joy for what he did every day, and it was infectious.
There is so much I wish I could say to him that will go unsaid, and I will miss him immensely. But I know that I and so many other students whose lives he touched are better people for having known him, and as a parent, I will do everything I can to impart to my children the love of learning, the passion for living, and the respect for all people that I learned from Chris.
My deepest condolences to his family and to all of us who loved him.

Tobias Harris
NWHS ‘01

I've uploaded an interview I conducted with him for the Niles West newspaper in 2000, which I think gives a sense of what he was like as a teacher (and the reverential awe with which many of us viewed him).

Nikolaos Katsafaros

October 12, 2021

Although I only had him freshman year, he left such an ever-lasting impression on me. Making me feel comfortable and wanted not only in the classroom, but in the bigger aspect of life as well. I really could see his passion for not only teaching, but also his family.He never let a day go by without mentioning how fortunate and blessed he was to have his wide circle of family and friends he cherished and loved. If only everyone could share his passion not only for his career, but everything. He truly was a great man, and I was so blessed and fortunate to have him not only as my teacher, but as a partial friend. Thank you, Mr Schwarz, for the introduction I needed for the new beginning of my future. You will be missed forever.

May his memory be eternal, Sincerely, Nikolaos Katsafaros

Troy Bennett

October 12, 2021

I remember my student teaching with Mr. Boevers. He was a dear curmudgeon of a man twice my age that I grew to love. In the midst of that experience, I was paired with Chris to teach a sophomore class. We were the same age. I was struck at the time with how similar my mentors were, though separated by decades. I connected Boevers wisdom to 30 years of teaching experience – he showed me a picture of the class he taught on the year I was born. But Chris had a wisdom that seemed to far surpass his age. He was deliberate with his teaching. He had the patience of Job and the ability to be easily understood and incredibly articulate at the same time. I grew to revere the man as my elder who was in fact just my age. When he spoke, there was always a little more insight than was readily apparent and in 2 decades of department meetings his opinion always carried significant weight. His commitment to my life’s work has always strengthened my own resolve to teach with integrity, prepare with wisdom, and enjoy the teenagers that walk through my classroom door. Both Boevers and Schwarz are now gone – I believe there must be a special place in heaven for teachers. Those of us who spend our daily energy in the pursuit of improving the lives of the students whom we serve. Chris was one of our best and brightest and we here are better for the association.

FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY

At Normandy with veterans

FROM THE FAMILY

At Normandy with our fathers