CUMBERLAND — Leonard Charles Schwab passed away at home, Tuesday morning, May 14, 2013. He would have been 91 on May 19.
Leonard was the son of Sylvia and Samuel Schwab, who preceded him in death. He was also preceded in death by his wife, Jane and his brother, Richard. He was born May 19, 1922, in New York City and moved to Cumberland in 1924. He married Jane Holstein in March of 1951. They honeymooned in New Orleans and Biloxi, Miss. For their 50th anniversary they returned to New Orleans and stayed at the same hotel and ate in the same restaurants as they did 50 years earlier.
Leonard was devoted to his family. Family members include his two sons, Tadd and Doug and their families, Tadd's wife, Sandy, son, Jason and daughter Rachel, and Doug’s wife, Betsey, and sons, Avi and Eli. In addition, he happily welcomed Avi’s wife, Laura and Rachel’s husband, Michael and his great-grandson, Jake, into the family.
Leonard graduated from Allegany High School in 1940. Leonard was the third of five generations of his family attending Allegany High School. He graduated from Lehigh University in 1944 with a BS degree in Mechanical Engineering. Being enrolled in advanced ROTC, he was immediately called to active duty and assigned to Aberdeen Proving Ground. He served as an instructor in the Ordnance School before going to Ordnance OCS in 1945 and was commissioned as a 2nd Lt. In World War II he served as Utilities Officer at Ordnance Base Depot 4 in Leghorn, Italy. He was recalled and served during the Korean Conflict as Commanding Officer of the 330th Ordnance Depot Co. in Wonju, Korea in 1952. Upon his return to Cumberland after World War II, Leonard decided to help his mother in her business for a few weeks before going to work for Carrier Air Conditioning, who had given him a job upon graduation. He liked the work at the S. Schwab Company very much and felt that there was a future for the business.
Leonard worked for the S. Schwab Company in many capacities from 1946 to present. He helped develop many of the production processes and machinery in the factories. He worked as a territory salesman and went on to manage several major accounts, including Marshal Fields in Chicago, as well as the company’s sales force. He actively worked to expand the physical plant facilities to help grow the business. Len and Jane hosted an annual Veterans Day Luncheon which brought together employees from all branches of the service and all parts of the business. Leonard was an active member of the American Apparel and Footwear Association, the major industry organization. He served on the Sleepwear Committee from its inception, helping to write and revise the Children’s Sleepwear law, which is still in use today. In 1993, he was elected to the Executive Board of the AAFA for a six year term. In his later years, he loved to walk around the Schwab Company facilities and speak to the employees. In 1994, Governor Schaefer appointed him the Governor’s Commission to promote manufacturing.
Mr. Schwab was a charter member of the Executive Board of the Frostburg State University Foundation and served as Vice President of the Board for about five years.
Leonard was a member of the Boy Scouts of America beginning with his days as a youth in Troop 5. He was a Life Scout (had all but Bird Study Merit Badge) but was made an Honorary Eagle Scout in 2002. He was active with his sons in Pack 20, Troop 17 and Troop 4. He served as Cub Master, Council President, Treasurer and Commissioner. He was a member of the BSA Northeast Region Executive Board and was Chairman of the Regional Cub Scout Task Force for five years. In 1989, he received the Silver Antelope Award from the Northeast Region, having received the Silver Beaver from Potomac Council in 1969 and the Shofar Award from the Jewish Committee on Scouting in February 1971. Leonard was trained as a Woodbadge Scouter and received his beads in 1992.
Leonard entered Freemasonry in 1959 as a member of Ohr Lodge, now Queen City Lodge 131. He received his 50 Year Service Award in 2009. As a member of the Scottish Rite, he has served as Venerable Master in 1984 and was received into the KCCH in 1973. He was honored as a 33rd Degree in 1981, in the same class with Ernest Borgnine and received his 50 year Scottish Rite Service in 2010. He is a member of Ali Ghan Shrine Temple, where he served as Ritual Director for 15 years. He was President and a founder of the Ritualistic Team and served as President of the Ali Ghan Shrine Club.
Leonard was a member of B'er Chayim Congregation since 1934 when congregations Beth El & B'er Chayim were reunited thru the efforts of his father, Sam Schwab. In May of 1935, Leonard was the first young man Bar Mitzvah’d at Temple B'er Chayim. Leonard was confirmed in May 1937. He was Secretary of the congregation from 1948 until 1953 and he served two terms as its President and was the B’al Tekiyah (shofar sounder) for 25 years.
In 1961, Len and Jane were selected to be on the first United Jewish Appeal Young Leadership Mission to Israel where they met then Prime Minister David Ben Gurion. On their several trips to Israel, they had opportunities to meet many of the current day political leaders.
Throughout his life, Leonard believed in supporting many causes and devoted his life to making the world a better place.
Jane and Leonard performed A.R. Gurney's, “Love Letters,” at the Cumberland Theatre as a fundraiser for the theatre. They were asked for several encore performances and were even asked to perform “Love Letters” at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pa., for Leonard’s 60th college reunion.
He joined the Cumberland Lions Club in 1955 and was its oldest member. Leonard served as President in 1972. Leonard was an integral part in bringing the SCCA Races to Cumberland. The proceeds from these races provided most of the money for the development of Lions Manor. Leonard was one of the founders of Lions Manor Nursing Home and was a member of the Executive Board. He was District 22W Sight Chairman from 1965 to 1980. In 1980, he received the International Presidents Award and was made a Melvin Jones Fellow in 1989. He served for five years as one of the Founding Directors of Multiple District 22 Lions Vision Foundation at Wilmer Eye Institute, Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. Leonard was on the Governors Cabinet of District 22W for 15 years as Sight Conservation Chairman. He also served the District as Zone Chairman and Deputy District Governor. He was the past Chairman of the International Lions Stamp Club.
The family will receive visitors at noon on Thursday, May 16, 2013, at the Adams Family Funeral Home (www.AdamsFamilyFuneralHome.com), 404 Decatur St., Cumberland.
Funeral services will be conducted in the funeral home on Thursday at 2 p.m.
Queen City Lodge 131 A.F.&A.M. will conduct a service beginning at 1:45 p.m.
Interment will be at East View Cemetery.
Friends are welcome to greet the family afterwards, from approximately 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. at Temple B’er Chayim, 107 Union St.
The family would like to request that, in lieu of flowers, expressions of sympathy take the form of contributions to B’er Chayim Temple, 107 Union St., Cumberland, MD 21502.
Shiva will be held at B’er Chayim Temple at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 16, 2013. Shiva on Saturday and Sunday, May 18 and 19, 2013, will be held at the home of Doug and Betsey Schwab, both nights at 7 p.m. Additionally, shiva will be held on Saturday, May 18 and Sunday, May 19, at the home of Tadd and Sandy Schwab, 8369 DelPrado Drive, Delray Beach, FL 33446.
Dad has had a long road. He is the last of his generation to pass. He worked hard, had fun and left the world a better place.