Guenther Leopold Schwartz
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Guenther Leopold Schwartz
  • March 11, 1940 - January 11, 2018
  • Blair, Nebraska

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Guenther Leopold Schwartz died early Thursday, Jan. 11, at CHI Immanuel Hospital in Omaha, NE. He was cremated and was laid to rest in Westlawn-Hillcrest Cemetery.

Guenther Leopold Schwartz was born Guenther Leopold Czarnik in Lodz, Poland on March 11, 1940 to Leopold August and Klara Ida Czarnik. When Hitler overran Poland he changed the German residents' last names to German names and thus the family's last name became Schwartz instead of Czarnik, both of which mean black. Hilter also moved the family out of Poland, planning to settle them in what is now the Czech Republic, but the allies bombed the railways and they ended up in Rohrbach, Austria. The family was sponsored by a cousin and her husband and moved to Omaha, NE in 1956. He was baptized into the Lutheran faith in Europe and completed his education in Austria though he took some computer classes at Omaha University before deciding to not complete his education because he would then be stuck inside a windowless room.

Guenther went to work delivering lumber for Builder's Supply after his arrival and also sold magazines around the country for a short period of time, but found his calling in the carpentry business, becoming a union master carpenter until his retirement. He also had his own construction business with a friend for a short period of time, but ultimately worked for a variety of construction companies who concentrated on commercial construction. Even after retirement he kept busy with creating a variety of craft items which he gave to numerous people. He loved decorating for Halloween and Christmas in his later years. He married Kathryn Ann Cox on March 4, 1962 in Omaha and they had two children. They lived in the Benson area of Omaha until they moved to Washington County in 1972. On May 1, 1962, he became a naturalized citizen after five years of study and was always proud to be a U.S. citizen. He was extremely proud of his children, Elizabeth and Christopher and continuously supported his wife in her career choices. He enjoyed camping and waterskiing for many years, but carpentry was his hobby as well as his work though he enjoyed taking photographs of barns and his trips when he was on the road for work. People who knew him remember his smile, sense of humour and kindness toward all.

He is survived by his wife, Kathryn; a daughter, Elizabeth Shanti Schwartz, Omaha; a son, Christopher Paul Schwartz, Lake Charles, La.; three sisters, Marita Albers, Columbus; Helga Kaethe (Tom) Hopkins, Glendale, Mo.; Anne (Ernst) Grdl, Haslach, Austria; two brothers, Hans (Ellen) Schwartz; and Deiter Erich (Sue) Schwartz, Manhattan, Kan.; a brother-in law, Curtis Wayne (Vicki) Cox, Lorton, Va.; 19 nieces, nephews and step-nieces and nephews; and their children; and a host of other cousins and friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Leopold and Klara Schwartz.

There were no services. People are asked to give to the charity of their choice; keep him alive in their hearts and laugh with him.

Westlawn-Hillcrest Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.