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Monday, September 16, 2019

Barbara Ann Schwartz, widow of NWA Capt. Eugene Schwartz

Barbara Ann Schwartz, widow of NWA Capt. Eugene Schwartz
December 22, 1930 ~ July 25, 2019

Notification with the passing of Barbara Ann Schwartz, a former Northwest stewardess and the widow of Northwest Airlines Captain Eugene Schwartz who passed in September 2008.  Barbara’s obituary information is available online at
As well, both obituaries appear below.
Per Barbara’s request, there was no funeral service. As noted below, a celebration of life event is planned for Sept. 22 at her son’s home in north Seattle, Washington.
Thank you,
~ Carol for the PCN 

Obituary……………Barbara Ann Schwartz
Born on December 22, 1930, Barbara - not Barb! - passed away gently and quietly on July 25 at an adult family home in Seattle. Born and raised in Brooklyn, NY, she was her high school valedictorian. At 21, in an act of considerable bravery, she broke from a complicated family environment, caught a train for Minneapolis, and became a flight attendant for Northwest Airlines. It was fate, she said, that led her to meet Captain Eugene Schwartz on a DC-3 flight out of Portland. They married two years later and celebrated 53 anniversaries prior Gene's passing in 2008. Early on, they lived in a variety of places from Minneapolis to Tokyo. Their son Douglas was born in Seattle in 1961. By 1966 they settled in what became the family home Mercer Island (apart from a year spent in Burma). The 1950s were a different era, and Northwest's company policy at the time required Barbara's retirement after marriage. She devoted herself to a wide variety of volunteer efforts, particularly at the Seattle Art Museum and later in local Republican politics (had she been aware she would have been deeply appalled by the current administration). A person of strong opinion, she was widely read and even more widely travelled. While a devastating stroke combined with dementia effectively took away her last five years, Barbara enjoyed a long, interesting, and blessed life - she would have been the first to say so. She was beautiful, graceful, elegant, and loving. Above all, and to her core, she was kind. Barbara is survived by her son Doug, her daughter-in-law Lejla, and her cherished granddaughter Lara. At her request there was no funeral service. Friends are invited to celebrate her life from 3 to 5 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 22, at Doug and Lejla's home in North Seattle. Remembrances may be made to the Alzheimer's Foundation of America or the American Stroke Foundation.

Eugene Schwartz, age 92
February 7, 1916 ~  September 15, 2008

Born on February 7, 1916, Gene died peacefully at home on September 15 following a brief battle with brain cancer.
He was raised in Chicago and graduated from high school at 16 during the depth of the Depression. He went to work immediately at whatever job he could find. In 1935, he enrolled in a local junior college. The college offered a civilian aviation program where he learned to fly. He continued to work and go to school when he could, eventually graduating from the University of Illinois with a degree in management.

After receiving his private and commercial licenses, as well as instrument and instructor ratings, he worked as a flight instructor and crop duster. In 1945, Gene was hired by Northwest Airlines. His 32-year career with the airline began on DC3s and ended with his retirement as a 747 captain.

Following retirement Gene audited numerous history courses at the University of Washington, specializing in Central Europe, the Middle East and India.

Few people were aware that Gene had been an accomplished musician in his youth on oboe and violin. He maintained an abiding affection for classical music, especially the works of Mahler, Berlioz and Mozart.

He was a champion bridge player and 50-year life master. His interests also included travel, photography, and, beginning at age 79, computers.

Gene is survived by Barbara, his wife of 53 years, son Doug and his wife Lejla, and granddaughter Lara, whom he adored, as well as many friends.

As he said on many occasions during the last weeks of his life, "I had the best job, I traveled the world and I had a family who loved me. I had a great life."

At his request there will be no services.


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