OBITUARY

Thomas Blair Schweitzer

October 9, 1947October 10, 2020

Thomas Blair Schweitzer- AKA Tommy, 73, of Tampa, Florida (originally of Rahway and Toms River, New Jersey) went to be with his Lord on Saturday evening, October 10, 2020. Tommy was born the son of Thomas and Norma Schweitzer on October 9th, 1947, in Rahway, New Jersey. Raised in a hardworking family, Tommy was an athletic, kind, young man. He served as an altar boy and was known in high school and in baseball as the “star catcher”, recruited by professional baseball teams while displaying a friendly and enduring smile. At the age of sixteen, Tommy met Carolyn Ruth Bogar. Tommy and Carolyn became fast friends and fell in love for over 55 years, celebrating 50 years of marriage in Italy last fall. Tommy and Carolyn display a true love and partnership which Carolyn will always treasure.

In 1966, Tommy graduated from Rahway High School in New Jersey and attended Alderson Broaddus College in Philippi, West Virginia. He enlisted in the United States Navy serving and achieving rank of Second Class Petty Officer, from 1968 through 1971. Tommy was a bright “jack of all trades” working in a variety of construction and industry experiences. His skill set allowed him to have a successful career for Merck Pharmaceutical Company, Rahway, New Jersey, retiring in the education department as a Safety Management Consultant. He was also a teacher for Toms River Vocational School and mentor to many.

Tommy was known for his kind and compassionate spirit with a love of nature. He held a desire to help others, especially the disaffected and needy children of the neighborhood. He was a creative soul who was also a self-taught musician and guitarist known for his vocals. He served with the church band at times and loved performing solo with this guitar for the service singing contemporary Christian music. More significantly, Tommy loved and enjoyed his family and friends. On July 5th, 1969, he married his high school sweetheart, Carolyn Ruth Bogar of Rahway, New Jersey. Tommy and Carolyn started a family, having a beautiful daughter, Kelli Ann Schweitzer of Jacksonville Beach, Florida and dedicated son Todd James Schweitzer of Tampa, Florida. He and Carolyn raised their beloved children and enjoyed life in Toms River, New Jersey. In 2000, Todd James Schweitzer married devoted daughter-in-law Carol Elmore and brought two amazing grandchildren to “Schweitzer Scene”. Tommy Jacob and Taylor Ann inspired Tommy to be the fun and active “Pop-pop” who enjoyed sharing experiences at the beach, fishing, golf, gardening, cooking and eating great food. Tommy and Taylor brought pure love and joy which both Pop-pop and Carolyn, “Nana” treasured. Both Tommy and Carolyn have so many life-long friends from New Jersey that have been so important to them over the years. The laughter and stories have added such happiness to their lives.

Tommy is also survived by his brother Kevin Schweitzer of Albany, New York and his brother-in-law, Joseph Bogar and sisters-in-law Mary Ann Bogar and Eleanor Bogar, who have been like siblings to him as well. They have all remained very close over the years.

While living in Tampa, Tommy spent time with his Carolyn and family traveling, playing golf, and volunteering for the local homeless and food insecure population of Tampa. Tommy happily volunteered along side Pastor Justin LaRosa at the Portico Hyde Park United Methodist Church of Tampa.

A memorial service will be scheduled in the Spring 2021 to celebrate the life of Thomas Blair Schweitzer, a loved husband, father, grandfather and friend.

In lieu of flowers, any donations may be sent to one of his favorite charities, Hyde Park Methodist Church - The Portico Cafe in Tampa, Florida.

Services

No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.

Memories

Thomas Blair Schweitzer

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Justin J Williams

October 19, 2020

Uncle Tommy,
You will be so missed. The memories of your warmth and love and guidance growing up are so strong and will always be in my heart. You always made sure that your family had everything they needed and worked so hard to keep everyone happy and safe. That time you put the swimming pool in the backyard in Tom's River was the BEST!!! It got so hot and humid in those South Jersey summers and Todd and David and I were loving life in that pool! The good memories are endless and lastly I want to say how very honored and grateful we were that you and Aunt Carolyn could make it out here to Colorado for our wedding. Good times!!!
Love you so much, your nephew Justin.

Kevin Schweitzer

October 18, 2020

A little known fact about Tommy: This is, I think, where both Tommy's athletic and character foundation developed. At age 11, Tommy was actually obese, by the health standards of even those days. Excessively overweight kids, as we know, absorb lots of humiliating abuse. During that period, Tommy cried upon arriving home after school on occasion. It was then that Tommy dedicated himself to a weight loss program. For some reason, Tommy chose the Rahway YMCA swimming team ( which was ill advised, given Tommy's body fat issues). How could Tommy even dream that he could compete in this type of sport....? Tommy shocked the whole family, by not only losing an incredible amount of weight, but amazingly receiving awards for breaking 2 freestyle Junior AAU in northern NJ. I still have the clipping from the Rahway News Record sports section, featuring Tommy photographed, receiving the medals and a trophy. Tommy could do the paradoxical and still reach his desired goals ; he always did that, somehow, someway......It simply must have been "his way." Kevin Schweitzer ( Brother).

Melissa Gordon

October 17, 2020

Uncle Tommy,

You were such a tremendous part of my childhood. I will cherish our times in Toms River with you and Aunt Carolyn forever. We would look so forward to Island Beach State Park and the boardwalk, but my favorite part was going to your house afterwards. I absolutely loved laughing around the dinner table while my Dad and you would share funny stories about Merck. You were always so good at telling stories and some of my best laughs were around that dinner table.

You had such a blessed life and I'll always look up to the love you shared with Aunt Carolyn. I'll always remember how you would hug and kiss each other on the beach and the way you would look at each other. It was so beautiful to see and is something that will stay with me forever. You will be missed incredibly, but we all know you are in Paradise now. I love you Uncle Tommy.

Kevin Schweitzer

October 17, 2020

I could write volumes about my brother, but chose to share this one. In the spring of 1966 on Thomas Place, Rahway NJ, after years of watching Tommy gather accolades as a " natural " long ball hitter and already scouted as a catcher, by some major league teams, I felt compelled to make a challenge ( on my terms). I was 12 years old and Tommy was 18. I taunted Tommy, to try and catch my fastest pitch at 40 feet distance, " gloveless" I salivated joyfully, when Tommy took the offer. He caught 3 straight pitches, the 3rd pitch was my best effort. I became enraged by this, and in a moment of distraction ( Tommy looked away briefly) I moved closer, by 8-10 feet, gladly cheating, in order to get my satisfaction. Now was my prime opportunity and I was on fire ; my adrenaline was peaking. I gave it all I had and watched as Tommy smothered the ball against his chest softly. That was the last time I tried to beat my big brother, after failing on both attempts. Tommy of course, greatly exceeded that an accomplished athlete. He moved the heart and soul of me and anyone who ever knew him. He could flinch, but he'd never fall !!

VICTOR GRABLACHOFF

October 17, 2020

Dear Carolyn and Family, My heart goes out to each one of you! Tommy held a very special place in my life ...you see...Tommy was the "catcher" & I was the "pitcher " @ RHS in 1966. I'll be looking to that day... when we can play "catch again" 😃 ... as we both have accepted JESUS CHRIST as OUR LORD & SAVIOR... John 3:16 " ✝ " Brother Vic & Ceil

Joey Bogar

October 16, 2020

Uncle Tommy I don't even know where to start. You were my greatest idol and I looked up to you so much. I can not thank you enough for always taking the time out and talking to me and making me laugh. I aspire to be the man that you were, and be the awesome Uncle to my nieces and nephew that you were to me. I have some big shoes to fill, and I hope to have the influence that you have had upon me growing up. Some of my greatest memories was fishing and hanging out in Toms River in your garage and feeling like we were,"Solving all of life's problems" in our conversations. I will especially miss jamming out on guitar with you. I remember being so happy when I was good enough on guitar. With my playing I felt like I could make you impressed and proud of me, finally I had the joy of being able to play with you. I just thought you were the coolest and funniest person I knew as a boy and I still do. You have no idea how much I love you and the inspiration you had on me, and you will always be in my heart. Thank you Uncle Tommy for being in my life and I will see you soon one day in Heaven.

Linda and Lenny Meluski

October 16, 2020

Even though we graduated high school together, the fun didn't begin until we reconnected at Rich's Ice Cream in Toms River.
The journeys-Washington, Aruba, Melbourne Beach, Myrtle Beach, North Carolina.
The events-weddings, birthdays.
The stories and laughs we all shared were the best.
We will miss you dearly, but Thanks For The Memories!!!
Always in our hearts,
Linda and Lenny

Brenda Bogar

October 15, 2020

You were above and beyond my favorite brother in law. You were always great at making a joke of a serious situation. I can’t recall ever seeing you that you didn’t have a smile on your face. You are a man to be envied and admired. You and Caroline had a relationship and marriage most of us wish we could aspire to have a fraction of. You raised two beautiful children in Kelli and Todd, father in Law to Carol and a fantastic grandfather to Tommy and Taylor. The world was a much more beautiful place with you in it. I pray your family finds comfort in knowing you were such a great human being. Rest In Peace with the Angels.

David C Williams Sr

October 15, 2020

We shared many happy times years ago. Played many guitar duos. Thanks for those memories, rest in peace brother Tommy.

John Unchester

October 15, 2020

Tommy wrote in my yearbook (RHS '66) ...." and may our friendship always last". It did.

We were blessed to see Tommy and Carolyn at a recent high school reunion. Our conversation began from where it last left off.

Tommy's friendship was genuine and treasured.

FROM THE FAMILY

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