Firelands Obituaries

Groff Funeral Homes
1607 East Perkins Avenue
Sandusky, OH 44870
Phone: 419-626-3632
Fax: 419-626-2445

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Richard "Dick" Schwab

Richard "Dick" Schwab passed away Sunday, December 20 at home after a long and courageous battle with MDS.

Dick was born in Attica, Ohio to William and Geraldine Schwab, the oldest of six children.

His father died when he was 14 years old and he shouldered many responsibilities at an early age to help to support his family, a circumstance that guided many of his future experiences; he was generous and helpful to all. Dick prided himself on being a lifelong loyal employee having only had three jobs in his lifetime. The first with the local drugstore and fountain shop in Attica as a high school student, the second at National Machinery in Tiffin, Ohio and then a very successful 44-year career as an insurance agent with State Farm Insurance in Sandusky, Ohio. His large, warm and gregarious personality served him well, and he often proudly shared that his customers always became his friends.

Dick bought his first boat in 1969. He was an avid boating enthusiast piloting the "Q-Tip", and over the years owned 9 different boats (first Lymans, then Sea Rays) and traveled extensively through the Lake Erie and Sandusky Bay areas and Lakes Ontario and Huron, including the Trent Severn waterway. He was well known for his outstanding boat handling and navigation skills and always maintaining a ship-shape and bristol-condition boat, and he often coached new and seasoned boaters by teaching docking, navigation and boat maintenance skills. He enjoyed spending time at many Lake Erie islands and ports, especially Kelley's Island and was involved with several boating organizations over the years including the Sandusky Yacht Club, the Huron Yacht Club, the Catawba Island Club, and Sandusky Power Squadron. He was honored last year with a 50-year membership recognition by the Sandusky Power Squadron. He also had tremendous technical and craftsman skills and built stereos, televisions, computers and equipped his home, office and boats with cutting edge technology and a broad genre of music. He was a whiz with remotes, and enjoyed creating video productions from his photo collection and adding favorite musical selections to them.

Dick confronted his MDS diagnosis with conviction and valor. He committed himself to a very challenging schedule of "forever" chemotherapy and blood transfusions always remaining positive and maintaining a great attitude. He participated in an immunotherapy clinical trial through University Hospital's Seidman Cancer Center believing that it was the right thing to do to learn about interventions for future patients through his experiences.

Dick graduated from Attica High School, and married Janet Andrews Schwab April. They raised three children: Randy (Patty) Schwab of Norwalk; Lorna (Dan) Strayer of Put-in-Bay and Brad (Laurie) Schwab of Vermilion. He was very proud of his eight grandchildren Tricia (Brian) West, Nicole (Ryan) Brisch, Megan (Blake) Moran, Alex Schwab, Bryant Strayer, Weston (Kelsie) Strayer, Marcus (Kim) Schwab, and Hannah Schwab. He took great pride in his seven great grandchildren: Brock, Gianna, Myra, Joni, Amelia, Anabel and Sophia.

Dick married Donna Schwab and they were married for 32 happy years. Together they enjoyed traveling, boating, wintering in Cape Coral, and spending time at Kelley's Island. They were well known for their annual Lighting of the Luminaries party at their home in Huron, hosting neighbors, family and friends for the past 20 years to kick off the holiday season. Donna lovingly supported him in his final days at home, honoring his final wishes. He is additionally survived by his step children: Gary Kimble of Attica, Mark (Rochelle) Kimble of Attica, Kim (Dave) Smith of Willard, and Susan Smith of Sarasota and step grandchildren: Alex Kimble, Michael Holden, Bryan (Melissa) Holden, Kailey (Ray) Robinson, Jacob Jester, Wesley Jester, Jerrad Jester, Addison (Brandon) Ott, Gillian Hicks, and Kameron Kimble (deceased) and four step great grandchildren.

In addition to his wife, Donna, and his children, Dick is survived by his sisters, Janice (Skip) Sisinger of Delphos, Nancy Featheringill of Willard, June Stone of Carey, Donna Weithman of Willard, sister-in-law Jeanette Schwab of Republic and brother, Buddy (Brenda) of Old Fort. He was preceded in passing by his brother, Leonard Schwab, of Republic.

Arrangements will be handled by Groff Funeral Homes & Crematory, 1607 E. Perkins Avenue, Sandusky. At Dick's request, cremation has taken place. A private family funeral and prayer service will occur followed by a memorial celebration in the future. Father Monte Hoyles will officiate. Interment of the cremains will occur at a later date.

The family wishes to recognize the tremendous support they have received from clinicians at the University Hospital Seidman Cancer Center, especially Dr. Benjamin Tomlinson and the nurses and nursing assistants there, Firelands Hospital Seidman Cancer Center nurses and staff, and Stein Hospice nurses and staff and Dr. Jeffrey Garman and Michele Poulos, Nurse Practitioner. Their outreach, medical expertise and guidance to Dick and family members during an unprecedented pandemic and a terminal diagnosis is well appreciated.

Memorial contributions may be made to University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center (in memory of Richard Schwab, UH Institutional Relations and Development, P.O. Box 94554, Cleveland, OH 44101), Catholic Churches of the Sandusky area, 429 Central Ave., Sandusky, OH 44870 or Sandusky Power Squadron (Local Safe Boating Campaign, 215 E. Market Street, Sandusky, Ohio 44870), or the donor's personal selection.

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