Howard W. Schwartz – Class of 1934
He was a prominent leader in the St. Louis deaf community and a retired chemist for Monsanto Chemical Company. Born in Breese, IL, on July 29, 1920, he was the son of the late John F. and Olinda C. (Mahlandt) Schwartz. He was born deaf, and he was enrolled at the Central Institute for the Deaf in 1925 at the age of 5. In 1934, he entered Roosevelt High School and graduated in May of 1938. He attended Harris College for two years and in 1940, took an apprenticeship under a professor of biological chemistry at Washington University Medical School where he learned biological chemistry and assisted in research work for two years. He then transferred to the Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology to assist in research work in biomedical radioactivity. He was offered a position at the University of Chicago and turned down the offer to attend Washington University as a full time student without the slightest idea that he was being recruited to take part in the development of the atomic bomb. He received his degree in June, 1945, from the Washington University and continued his post graduate study at the University while working for American Stove Company. In November 1948, he moved to Dayton, Ohio, to begin his career with Monsanto Chemical Co. In June, 1951, he married Elizabeth A. Springer of Wilmington, Delaware, who survives. After thirteen years in Dayton, they returned to St. Louis where he continued employment with Monsanto until his retirement in 1978 as a senior research chemist after thirty years.
In St. Louis, he served as editor, president, and treasurer of the Central Institute for the Deaf Alumni Association and received CIDAA’s Distinguished Alumni Award in 1981. In 1947, he founded the St. Louis Bell Club, a social organization for the deaf that is still active today. He was the first president of Telecommunicators of Greater St. Louis in 1972 and received Distinguished Service Award in 1984 for helping to provide a service organization for TTY users. He was an active member of St. Thomas Episcopal Church for the Deaf serving as a layreader and treasurer for many years. He has been a member of the American Chemical Society more than fifty years, as well as member of the Missouri Association for the Deaf, the St. Louis Deaf Lions’ Club, and Gateway Silent Seniors.
He was buried St. John’s Cemetery in Breese, II.
In addition to his wife, he is also survived by niece Pat Easton (Dennis), and nephews Jack Lampen, Tom Lampen (Lisa), and Bill Lampen (Laurie), twelve great nieces and nephews, and brother‑in law John Lampen. A sister, Jane Lampen, preceded him in death in 1987.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Schwartz Scholarship Fund at Central Institute for the Deaf.
Co-webmaster Crowell’s note: We all miss him for everything he was – one of his favorite prank was: while he was sitting next to you, he would tap you on your opposite shoulder. You turn around to find no one there and then swiftly turn to look at Howard smiling impishly and innocently.
Many thanks to Kathy Sheldon and Libby Schwartz for their contribution to this biography.