Remembering Professors Sewell and Schwartz

Bill Sewell

William “Bill” Clyde Sewell, 84, a resident of Houghton, passed away Thursday, November 25, 2021, at Aspirus Hospice House in Wausau, WI.

He was preceded in death by his parents, brothers Delbert and Walter and a sister Nancy.

He is survived by his sons Andrew (Elizabeth Simoneau) of Columbus, OH and Michael (Kathy Johnson) of Wausau, WI. Bill is further survived by his grandson, Ian of Columbus, OH, a sister, Ruth of Canon City, CO, and his life-partner Ruth Robertson of Kansas City, MO and Houghton and numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins.

Bill was a Professor Emeritus at Michigan Technological University, having taught philosophy there from 1972 until 2004. He was active in many community organizations. He served on the Hancock Planning Commission and the City Charter Commission.

Bill was a den leader and then cub master for Hancock Cub Scout Pack 207 and later was an assistant scoutmaster and scoutmaster for Hancock Boy Scout Troop 207. He served as president of the Hancock Lions Club, president of the board of Portage Lake Hospice, and the first president of the board at The Omega House. He also served on the board for the Barbara Kettle Gundlach Shelter Home for Abused Women. Bill served in the United States Air Force from 1955 to 1959. He earned is B.A. in Philosophy from Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville in 1965 and his Ph.D. in Philosophy from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland in 1975.

Bill was a volunteer for Keweenaw Home Nursing, Portage Lake Hospice, Omega House and Little Brothers Friends of the Elderly with friends Scott Rutherford and Ray Weglarz who helped to initiate the effort to build the Omega House. He was awarded the National Hospice Organization’s Volunteer of the Year in 2004. Bill loved a good joke. Those who knew him well will remember him for his compassion and his sense of humor.

To view the full obituary, please visit memorialchapel.net.


Dick Schwartz

Richard Frederick Schwartz, 99, most recently a resident of White River Junction, died December 4 after suffering a fall several weeks ago. He was predeceased by his wife, Margaret, who died in May 2021.

Dick, as he was known to his friends, was a retired professor of electrical engineering, a devoted father, a dedicated amateur musician, and an active member of the communities where he lived. For the last 15 years of his life, Dick and Margaret lived in Peru, New York. As residents there, they were both active in the Unitarian Universalist Church of Plattsburgh. Dick also was a member of the community band, the church choir, Peru’s Democratic Central Committee, and the board of the town’s public library.

Before their move to Peru, Dick and Margaret lived in Endicott, NY, where they relocated when Dick took a position as a full professor of Electrical Engineering at Binghamton University’s Watson School in 1985. Previously, he was a professor at Michigan Technological University in Houghton, MI, and at University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, PA. He also taught at University of Michigan on sabbatical in 1960-61.

Dick, a clarinetist and a pianist, combined his love of music with his professional interests, developing courses on acoustical engineering at the universities where he taught. A gifted tinkerer, Dick would attempt to fix just about any piece of electronic equipment, and could build a functioning radio with a lump of galena and some spare parts lying around his shop. Dick had several patents to his name, dating from when he worked for RCA early in his career.

The son of a professor himself, Dick loved teaching – and he continued teaching long past his retirement. He was especially active in mentoring young male students in Binghamton-area public schools, and fostered relationships that continued for decades afterward.

Dick loved his large extended family, remembering birthdates of his relatives and often sending them a personalized “birthday poem” and a birthday check. He also was a prolific letter writer, addressing missives to family and friends – and also to public figures and companies. A World War II veteran, he was resolute in hating war. He remained politically active and engaged until the end of his days.

In May 2021, Dick was honored by the Hartford Historical Society for being the oldest resident of Hartford County. His name was inscribed on a plaque in the Garipay House, and he was given an honorary cane to mark his elder status.

He is survived by his children Kate Mortimer, Stuart Holland (Doug Federhart), Frieda Cialek (Brett Nyman) and Eric Schwartz (Margaret Yaukey); his step-children Rachel Romanowicz (Ed) and Richard Boes (Lori); his grandchildren Christopher, Andrew, and John; and his step-grandchildren Joshua, Matthew, Rebecca, and Alex. He was predeceased by his wife Margaret, his former wife Ruth Wadlin, his son Frederick Schwartz, and his grandson Andy.

To view the full obituary, please visit knightfuneralhomes.com.

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