James “Jim” Alan Schwartz died peacefully at age 83 from complications of Alzheimer’s disease on July 9, 2021. He was sharp-witted and had a deep appreciation for nature, animals, and the written word. He was born in Cincinnati, OH, on St. Patrick’s Day, March 17, 1938, which was appropriate because he relished the Irish side of himself. He was preceded in death by his beloved wife of 59 years, Dolores “Lori” Born Schwartz; his parents Genevieve Hoffman and William Schwartz; and his older brother, William “Bill” Schwartz, a Catholic priest.
Jim leaves behind his three daughters: Julie Born Schwartz (Michael Longmire) of Corvallis, OR, Gail Schwartz Dillon (Rob Dillon) of Knoxville, TN, and Sally Ann Schwartz (Josh Hummel) of Gig Harbor, WA; his grandsons: Ryan Dillon, Andrew Dillon, and Liam Hummel; an older sister, Susan S. Faust, of Santa Rosa, CA; three nephews and one niece.
Jim grew up in the College Hill suburb of Cincinnati, Ohio, where he attended Catholic school, spending non-school hours roaming the nearby woods with his buddies and playing basketball and other sports. Jim and Lori knew one another as children and began dating in college. Jim earned his BA from the University of Cincinnati and his MS in environmental communication from the UW-Madison. He served in the US Army from 1956-60 where he trained to be a Russian linguist but, to his pleasant surprise, ended up mainly competing in sports events and delivering mail to his fellow soldiers. In 1961, he was briefly recalled to Active Duty during the Berlin Crisis, and soon after returning in 1962, he and Lori were married.
A prolific writer and photographer, his early career was focused on journalism. He wrote for some of the most prestigious newspapers in the nation, including the Cincinnati Enquirer, the Minneapolis Tribune, and the Louisville Courier-Journal. Later he taught journalism at Western Washington University in Bellingham, WA, and became the director of public information there. He went on to Montana Power Company in Butte to serve as the director of news relations and editorial services. From there, he worked as the director of public information for the UW-Eau Claire. He commuted to Northland College in Ashland, WI, for several years as director of development. Later he served as the development director for St. Bede’s Monastery and Center in Eau Claire. He was a respected photo journalist with a keen interest in wildlife and environmental issues including championing efforts to protect wolves long before their reintroduction to Yellowstone, to protect the Spotted Owl in the forests of the PNW and to monitor mule deer near Fort Benton, MT.
Jim loved to read-novels, newspapers, magazines, you name it - and he spent hours in the public library. His writing talents were not confined to his career; he wrote thousands of beautiful letters and e-mails to friends and family during his lifetime. He was known for his unique - sometimes biting - sense of humor and the ability to converse intelligently on nearly any subject. A life-long dog lover, he particularly adored standard poodles and owned five of them over his lifetime.
The family would like to thank Jennifer Garner, Elizabeth Irish, Jennifer Groh, Ami Beer, and Lumina Hospice of Corvallis for taking care of Jim in the last months of his life.
A memorial service for both Jim and Lori, who passed in October 2020, will be held over Labor Day weekend in Oldenburg, IN, with burial to take place in Cincinnati, OH. In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting donations to charities that support wildlife and environmental conservation, Lumina Hospice of Corvallis, Alzheimer’s research, or a charity of your choosing. AAsum-Dufour Funeral Home handled the arrangements (www.aasum-dufour.com).