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James William "Jim" Schwartz
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Birth: Nov. 13, 1923
Tulare County
California, USA
Death: Mar. 31, 2002
Walnut Creek
Contra Costa County
California, USA

MOTHER: Lillian Turner. b. Oct. 21, 1898 in England. Her parents were John Turner and Mary EDGE Turner. John was a mine superintendent in England. He brought his family (Lillian and two sons) to the United States in 1914.

FATHER: Wilmer Hinman, of Scottish descent, born ca. 1886 in Illinois. He and Lillian divorced before Jim was born. Hinman's location is unknown.

Jim and his mother lived with his maternal grandparents near Santa Cruz, CA where they operated a chicken ranch.

When Jim was about five years of age, his mother married Carl Siegfried Schwartz (b. Dec. 22, 1896), whose parents were born in Sweden. Carl adopted Jim and his name was changed from Hinman to Schwartz. At the time, the Schwartz's operated a grocery store in Santa Cruz.

Jim was a student from kindergarten through twelfth grade in Santa Cruz and was graduated from Santa Cruz High School. He was an accomplished clarinetist and attended Salinas J.C. until the family moved to San Jose, where Carl became a shop steward at Hendy's in the 1940s. The firm built submarines as part of the WWII effort. Jim enrolled at San Jose State Teachers College, where he majored in Music and minored in History. He remained at San Jose State until he was drafted into the Army in Feb.,1943 and did his basic training in Texas.

He played in the 8th Inf. Div. Band and was in the Signal Corps stringing communication lines in Europe as the allies advanced. He landed in Normandy on July 4, 1944, two days short of one month after D-day; served in Normandy, Northern France, Central Europe, and the Rhineland; was discharged with the rank of sergeant in 1945. His decorations included: EME Service Medal with 4 Bronze Service Stars; Good Conduct medal; SO 45 H 8th Inf. Div 6 Oct 44; American Theater Ribbon.

He returned to San Jose State in the spring of 1946 and continued his studies of Music and History in pursuit of a teaching career. At this time, he was also a clarinetist with the San Jose Civic Symphony.

On June 25, 1949, Jim married Yvonne Shirley Kirk, a music student (violin) at San Jose State. They had met at SJS in 1946.

Jim accepted his first teaching assignments at Fairfield (CA) Elementary School and Armijo High School for the 1949-1950 school year. His college advisor noted on his reference that Jim was the best teacher the Music Department had to offer that year.

The Armijo position became full time with the addition of teaching assignments in Social Studies. He held this position until 1954 when he moved from Armijo to Las Lomas High School in Walnut Creek, CA.

The Las Lomas position began as a Social Studies assignment but rapidly moved to vocal music. He taught Boys Chorus, Girls Chorus, A Cappella Choir, and Madrigals. He taught band for one year while Las Lomas looked for a new bandmaster. He maintained his employment there until retirement in 1984 at the age of 60.

During this time, Jim was also involved in directing choirs of local churches. He was the first music director of the Diablo Light Opera Co., performing mostly Gilbert and Sullivan plus occasional Broadway shows. He was involved with Diablo Light Opera for about twenty years, helping to develop and improve the group.

Jim's students held him in high esteem. He was a favorite among many of his students. He was always cheerful and friendly with a great sense of humor.

Jim passed away on Easter Sunday, March 31, 2002. Cause of death was Alzheimer's disease.

His favorite composer was Beethoven.
No marker
Cremated, Other.
Specifically: cremains are in a water-tight container deposited in the bay just off of Angel Island
Created by: Warren C. Sheldon
Record added: Feb 16, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 85065115
James William Jim Schwartz
Added by: Warren C. Sheldon
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Jim was my favorite teacher.
- Warren C. Sheldon
 Added: Oct. 23, 2012

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