The corner of the living room had been cleared for a tree, but time had run short and it had not yet been purchased. So, Stan and his dad hurried off to the lot before it closed for Christmas Eve and found there was just a solitary tree left. I don't know how many needles it had when they bought it, but there were very few when Stan secured it in the green metal holder. That frail, gray skeleton of a pine was decorated with more than one raised eyebrow. But as the tinsel was hung, in rare excitement, Grandpa declared it the best tree he'd ever seen! He loved it because not one decoration was hidden from view. Every ornament could be seen from any angle.
On January 3rd, 2006, a century passed since Grandpa's birth. It was a frosty cold Wednesday, just before noon, when Dr. Hugh Schofield placed him in his mother's arms. He was the second son of George and Frieda. His big brother, Harvey, had turned three in June.
Ewald Victor grew into a strong, but humble man. He didn't have a college education or money to burn. He wore bib overalls and false teeth. His clocks were set five minutes ahead so no one would ever have to wait for him. He paid his bills when they were due and he never took out a loan. Even on Sunday, when he went to church, he smelled like the cheese from the factory where he worked. It was common for him to go light with the veggies to save room for two pieces of pie. He loved the funnies and a good belly laugh, but he never laughed at others. He didn't seek status, nor did he offer high praise to anyone. Christmas was never about getting and giving presents. Like that last tree chosen from the lot, he remained in the background, allowing true beauty to shine, unhindered by him. Most people never knew his middle name was "Victor", but there is no question it fit him well because Ewald understood that all honor and glory belongs to God.
So each holiday season, in memory of Ewald Victor Schwarze, we sing, "To God be the Glory!"
by Janet Schwarze (Wife of Ewald's son, Stan)
Memorials & Tributes Index
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