Mary Margaret Schwartz

August 25, 1937January 25, 2018

Our beloved Mother, Wife, and Friend, Mary Margaret Schwartz, left her earthly presence and ascended to Heaven on the morning of January 25, 2018, at the age of eighty, following a forty-two year debilitating battle with Rheumatoid Arthritis. Although this disease aggressively and unmercifully stole her physical independence, it was unable to destroy her mental acuity, optimism, radiant love and compassion for her family and others, or her everlasting faith and trust in God. She accepted her medical hardship, unrelenting pain and suffering with extraordinary strength, never one to complain about her chronic incurable health condition. Mary saw each day, no matter how burdened, as a gift. Throughout her life, Mary exuded ultimate kindness, sacrifices for others, and always gave thanks to the “Good Lord Jesus for granting her another day.” She enjoyed spending time with her family, praying and talking to her friends. Her positive outlook, dedication and indomitable spirit to carry on left an indelible mark on everyone; Mary was a source of immense inspiration to all who knew her---truly the rising tide that lifted all boats. Mary is greatly loved, missed, and will never be forgotten by her family. Mary resided in Harahan, LA for the last 36 years and before that uptown New Orleans. Mary’s family wishes to express appreciation to Ochsner Doctors William Davis, and Kristin Johnson for their compassionate care, as well as to Father Joseph Tran, St. Matthew the Apostle Catholic Church, River Ridge, LA. The family also requests that donations be made to any charitable organization dedicated to investigating, and finding a cure for Rheumatoid Arthritis. Mary is survived by her loving husband Merlin “Mert” P. Schwartz, a marriage that lasted over sixty-two years, daughter Darlene A. Schwartz, and son Merlin “Mert” P. Schwartz, Jr., brother Phillip (Junior) Pravata, sister Lena (Blue) Pravata Norwood, Aunts Lena Messina, Annie Catalanotto, Uncles Paul and Nace Pravata, Cousins John (Johnny) Catalanatte, Carlo and Joseph Bonura, nieces, nephews, and many friends. Mary was preceded in death by her parents Phillip Pravata and Mary Mike Hebert.


  • Visitation

    Monday, January 29, 2018

  • Funeral Mass

    Monday, January 29, 2018


Mary Margaret Schwartz

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Joy Naquin

May 28, 2018

Dear Family, it is with a heavy heart that I read this. I knew Mary (husband, daughter and son) for many years through working at Ochsner and afterwards as a personal friend. She was one of those rare individuals who always saw the good in everything. She always thought of others. She saw the smallest of gestures as monumental given her own battle with rheumatoid arthritis. She was always so appreciative and genuine in her gratitude to others. She held family close to her heart and as a result they were very devoted to her. I will miss Mary for her ability to laugh, make jokes, and smile brightly despite her individual struggle. She was always active and supported her family through all of their accomplishments, which were actually hers as she was truly an inspiration.

Rosemary Cavilee

February 23, 2018

Aunt Mary, your passing is sorrowful news, but it is also a blessing to you that you are now with family you haven't seen in a long time. Most importantly, you are in th presence of our dear Lord. May He keep you near and bestow the blessings you deserve. To Uncle Merlin, Mert and Darlene, I pray comfort and peace be with you. May God wrap His loving arms around you in the days to come.

John Catalanotte

February 20, 2018

Merlin, Merlin Jr., and Darlene, May God Bless you all for the love and care given to Mary, (your wife and mother and my cousin) during the many years she battled Rheumatoid Arthritis. You all are a very special family.

Karin Moore

February 20, 2018

Merlin Schwartz and Family. The day Mary came into my life I could immediate feel peace, kindness and an endurance that had no end. I was so fortunate to have her touch my life. Her quiteness by no means hid her strength and resiliance. She certainly was a great person and an example for all those she touched as how we should walk through life. The Rheumatoid Arthritis she suffered for so many years slowly took its toll. Now we have another Angel in Heaven to watch over us. Mary you are thought of everyday and will be in our hearts forever.

David Schwartz

February 17, 2018

Aunt Mary it's said to say for your lost but in heaven I know you will put I smile on the angels face Sorry for your pain witch a could no longer take in May the lord Jesus be with you and your family I would like everyone read John 3 16 in the bible love y'all P S tell mom and dad I have a wonderful girl friend

Sandra Buchholz

February 5, 2018

On behalf of the Rheumatoid Arthritis Foundation, Help Fight RA
Please accept our deepest sympathy.

We are here to console you in your time of grieving if you need us.
Call us anytime at 877.917.7326/407.917.7326 or visit our website at for information.

Sandra Buchholz
Founder & CEO
Rheumatoid Arthritis Foundation, Help Fight RA
P.O. Box 1996
Windermere, FL 34786

Nicole Miller

February 4, 2018

Mrs. Mary,

I am so saddened by this, but I take comfort in knowing that you are no longer in pain. Your smile and personality have always brightened my day. You were beautiful inside and out. You will truly be missed and forever be in my heart.

Denise Johnson

February 2, 2018

Merlin, May God give you and your family comfort during this difficult time. You will have moments, but cling to the memories. I pray that God covers you will peace and understanding. Your friend.......

January 31, 2018

Our most heartfelt condolences for you loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Love Palliative Care Compassus

Merlin Sr., Darlene, Merlin Jr. Schwartz

January 30, 2018

January 29, 2018

Dear Mom and Beloved Wife,

Today we are here to honor you. We want to thank you for being a wonderful and compassionate Mother and Wife. You always put us and others before yourself no matter how much sacrifice was involved. We often wondered how you, who bore such a tremendous health burden, with unspeakable physical limitations for decades could be so selfless and so giving to others. Things so many people take for granted such as eating, bathing, dressing and personal hygiene were taken from you for far too long. While it caused us grief, agony and frustration, you always remained so satisfied and grateful for what you had. You accepted your horrible disease, Rheumatoid Arthritis, you were afflicted with since 37 years old with unimaginable courage and strength. We don't know how anyone could have coped with this debilitating disease and its torturous pain and disabilities like you did. How could you be so strong? How could you never complain and be so satisfied? How could you continue to put the plight of others before yourself even though they were in far better health than you? How could you never lose your faith in God? You taught all of us, better than anyone, or any experience, not only the meaning of love, but how to give each other unconditional love, kindness and generosity.

Mom, Mary, we grieve as we see the void, and gather those things that reminded us daily of you, of your optimism, and of your suffering. Your pain was surely our pain, but we will always remain thankful for the good times we had together. Please know we will honor your life by living the rest of our life though the same example you set. We will take care of each other. We will miss your words of encouragement, love and support. We will miss you calling our names, "Darlene, Merlin, Big Mert, Merlin, Little Mert, Son, Jr. We admire you greatly for the humility and the grace in which you fought your disease: You never gave up. The illness robbed you of your physical vitality, but not of your essence; your care for others; your love for God; and your love for us, your family. You always made sure our burden was lessened through your inner strength. We will miss taking care of you and being with you. Always know Merlin Sr., your husband, will never forget you; Darlene will never forget you; Merlin, Jr., will never forget you; anyone who knew you, will never forget you. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for coming into our life and bringing us so much joy. Thank you for sharing so much of yourself and leaving such a permanent mark of inspiration to all who knew you. Take care and look over us as we mourn your departure and as we live our remaining lives. Rest assured that your ideals, ideas, and compassion will live on in us until we meet again. You will always be in our hearts and our Angel. We love you! You meant the world to us. May God bless you.

With All Our Love and Admiration,

Your Husband, Merlin Sr., your Daughter, Darlene, and your Son, Merlin, Jr.