Charles Martin Schwarz, “Chief,” age 89, of Middletown, RI, passed away peacefully with family by his side on June 4, 2020.
Charles was born in Newport, RI to William T. and Emily (Martin) Schwarz. Dad was a kind and devoted father and loving husband to the late Audrey (Ottilige) Schwarz, having celebrated their 65th anniversary last November.
Charlie was a 1948 graduate of Rogers High School, where he was a member of the band and ROTC. Upon graduating he enlisted in the National Guard, serving for 6 years. For several years he was a welder with Crawfords Welding and Fabrication and also was the owner of the Mobil Middletown Service Station on the corner of Wyatt Road and East Main Road, now Wyatt Square.
Because of his love for the town of Middletown, he joined the Middletown Fire Department in July of 1954 as a call man. He was hired full-time as a Private in July of 1955 and proceeded through the ranks attaining the positions of Lieutenant, Deputy Chief and ultimately Fire Chief on March 7th 1977. While serving as Chief he was a member of the Rhode Island Association of Fire Chiefs, and served as President. Also was a member of the New England Fire Chiefs Association. Upon his retirement in 1981 he went to work for Mello Construction Company until 2002.
He was a member of the Calvary United Methodist Church, Middletown Lions Club, St. John’s Masonic Lodge and Middletown Historical Society.
Dads long time passion was working in his work shop and researching genealogy. He and mom enjoyed their time at Wallum Lake, boating and relaxing with many friends and family. He enjoyed listening to his country and gospel music. They both enjoyed RVing in later years.
Charlie is survived by his daughter, Judith Durham (husband, John) of Williamsport, MD, sons, Stephen Schwarz (wife, Kathleen) of Middletown and Andrew Schwarz (wife, Laura Tyler) of Boulder, CO. He is also survived by his sister-in-laws Marjorie Seyster and Sandy Schwarz of Middletown and several nieces and nephews. He will be greatly missed by their great circle of friends and family.
The greatest joy of his life were his 4 grandchildren, JC, Marjorie, Eric and Samantha and 7 great grandchildren, Cody, Atticus, Holden, Logan, Mallory, Laicey and Lorelei. He loved sharing his Oreos with them.
He was preceded in death by his loving wife Audrey, their son Mark, his parents William and Emily, his twin brother William and sister Emily.
The family would like to thank the Middletown Fire Department and the staff at the Grand Islander for their wonderful compassion, care and friendship, as well as many new found friends for us, his family. A special thanks to Sabrina and her activities staff, Hannah, Megan and Pam for keeping dad smiling, all the video calls with the family, and support, you made his last months happy ones.
A celebration of life will be held at a later date, to be determined.
In lieu of flowers the family requests donations be made to the Middletown Firefighters Rec Fund, 239 Wyatt Road, Middletown, RI 02842 or the Potter League, 87 Oliphant Lane, Middletown, RI 02842.
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