God, I hate losing the good ones.
I knew Bob Schwartz for more than thirty years. He had fought cancer before and won. This time, it came on him too fast and too hard for his iron constitution to conquer. He passed away peacefully at home with his wife and other loved ones on November 7.
As his obituary shows, Robert Schwartz lived a long and productive life.
Some 27 years ago, he and his lovely wife Maury moved from his native Connecticut to join us in free New Hampshire. He told me he loved the idea of not only living in a smaller community, but serving it. He knew that a tradition in small New England towns was to perform that service by joining the emergency services – emergency medical, volunteer fire department, part-time police officer. He chose the latter route. For a full quarter century, he served in uniform to protect the public. He joked that he wanted to live to be the oldest working police officer in the state, and you know, he may just have made it: he was still on staff and hoping to get back on patrol when, at 76, he had to leave us.
A bear of a man, the proverbial gentle giant, Bob’s great physical strength and abilities were tempered with great patience and compassion, the sort of things that come together to make a great cop. He was also a gun enthusiast and a helluva good pistol shot. It’s rare for a state law enforcement academy to have a part-time police officer come in to teach full-time career cops, but that’s exactly what happened with Bob. Yes, he was that good.
Bob Schwartz was a fine man of a rare breed, and he will be greatly missed.