MAJOR WILLIAM R. SCHWARTZ, USAF (ret.)- 1928–2023, Roswell, NM
Major William R. Schwartz, USAF (ret.), departed on what he called his “next mission” on October 19, 2023.
Bill was born on March 28, 1928, to Alex C. Schwartz and Elsie Felder Schwartz, along with his identical twin brother, Edward J. Schwartz, in Sealy, TX. He had one older brother, A. C. Schwartz.
Bill served in the Air Force for 20 years, from 1951 to 1971, and was a Vietnam Veteran. He became a Mason in the Texas Lodge around 1953 and was a member in good standing for almost 70 years.
Bill met the love of his life, Betty Jo Phillips, while stationed at Walker AFB in Roswell, NM. She was the recent widow of another Air Force officer and had four young children (Ray, Michael, Larry, and Melissa). Bill and Betty were married on October 8, 1959. They had two additional children (Gregory and Jennifer) and enjoyed almost 63 years together until Betty passed away on June 16, 2022.
After retiring from the Air Force, Bill had a second career with the Production Credit Association in Roswell, the Federal Intermediate Credit Bank in Wichita, KN, and the Albuquerque Production Credit Association for another 10 years before retiring again in 1981. In 2004, he and Betty moved from Albuquerque to Roswell in order to be closer to their daughter Melissa and her family.
Bill enjoyed his life fully. He loved the outdoors, with camping, hunting, fishing, and golf. He loved his family, especially his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He enjoyed woodworking and restoring furniture found at weekly visits to garage sales and was a master cook, BBQ being his specialty. Bill enjoyed meeting people and talking with his friends at Grace Community Church and Senior Circle. He also loved crossword puzzles and worked the NY Daily Times crossword every day.
Bill and Betty traveled extensively in their motor home after he retired and went on many cruises, making new friends along the way.
Through the years, they shared their home with many beloved pets and were especially fond of dachshunds and poodles.
Bill was preceded in death by his parents, Alex C. and Elsie Schwartz, brothers, A. C. Schwartz and Edward J. Schwartz, and wife, Betty Jo Schwartz.
Survivors include his sister-in-law, Yvonne Schwartz, of San Antonio, TX and six children (spouses in parentheses): Ray (Mary Ann) Phillips, Michael (Kathy) Phillips, Larry (Barbara) Phillips, Melissa (Varney) Brandt, Gregory Schwartz, and Jennifer (Scott) Kunis.
Additional survivors include grandchildren: Mark (Cheryl) Phillips, Paul (Lourdes) Phillips, Sara (Oliver) Redig, Janet (Chris) Moore, Coleen (Jay) Sedberry, Vicki (Andrew) Moore, Laura Phillips, Justin (Alla) Brandt, Nathan (Megan) Brandt, Stephanie Lucero, Stephen (Crystal) Brandt, Allison Kunis, and Kelsey (Blaine) Ondriezek.
Great-grandchildren: Ian, Zinnia, Daisy, Zachary, Matthew, Makayla, Jadyn, Jordyn, Lily, Alex, Amanda, Carsyn, Hunter, Colsen, Sava, Audrey, Connor, Devin, Aliah, Briella, Kash, Jerzy, Casen, Parker, Caleb, and Hattie.
Surviving nephews and nieces include Craig (Paula) Schwartz, Chris (Marsha) Schwartz, Steve (Hollye) Schwartz, and Melissa (Buck) Osten.
Bill’s family would like to thank Dr. Ana Arnett and her staff, the firemen from Roswell Fire Station #3, and Gentiva Hospice for your help in his final care.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to Immanuel Lutheran School, 1405 N. Sycamore, Roswell, NM 88201. Several of his great-grandchildren have attended school there.
Bill’s funeral services will be held at 9:30 a.m. on Friday, October 27, 2023, at the Santa Fe National Cemetery, 501 N Guadalupe St, Santa Fe, NM 87501. Pastor Sean Lee from Grace Community Church will officiate.