Stroo Funeral Home, Inc. 
1095 68th St. SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49508
Phone:  (616) 455-9280 
Fax: (616) 455-2035
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Michael A. Vos - Owner / Manager
 Robert K. Stroo - Owner / President 
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Service Information

Samuel Lincoln Schwartz 

 Committal Service: 1:30 pm Wednesday, April 11, 2018 at Graceland Memorial Park, 4341 Cascade Rd. SE, Grand Rapids, MI

                                Samuel Lincoln Schwartz

                            January 5, 1924 to April 2, 2018


Sam was an upright God loving human being. Today he is at heaven's gate, standing tall, straight as one of his store manikins, with his shoulders back, at attention, in a starched and pressed Marine Corps, dress blues uniform.  His lovely bride Elaine is finally on his arm again.  Saint Peter is reviewing his orders for this last duty station.  His credentials that follow are immaculate. The training of which he was most proud started December 9, 1942. He enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in New York City.  Sam was just a kid at 5 foot 11 inches.  He had not attained his high school diploma or his full stature of 6 foot 1.  His mother had to be persuaded to sign his admission papers. This began what he claimed to be "the best education of a lifetime." The boy became a man during his time at Parris Island, South Carolina, and he met his Marine Corps Women’s Reserve wife, Elaine Hinrichs of Lodi, Wisconsin (1922-2009).  She trained newly enlisted aviators, while Technical Sergeant Samuel Lincoln Schwartz was part of the American Invasion Force that took and held at least four different islands in the South Pacific during World War II. He and his brothers at arms sacrificed, so we could enjoy peaceful lives surrounded by the embrace of freedom. After the war Sam had an amazingly successful retail store career which included a 20 year climb up the corporate ladder with Ardan’s Catalog Showrooms starting in Wisconsin and ending at their headquarters in Des Moines, Iowa.  His title became Chief Executive Officer of that 78 store chain. He joined the Grand Rapids based Whitmark Catalog Showrooms organization as their president in 1982 during what they called “a pivotal time to help re-position the company” which grew 3 fold in the 2.5 years that he was their leader. Paul Leven, Chairman of the Board of Whitmark, wrote to Sam, “Your gift to us of your total dedication, your positive force, your dynamic spirit and attitude shall be inscribed in our hearts and souls forever. You built in us, a true professionalism with a warm human touch which cannot be translated into numbers or dollars or profits.”  Sam said his next career move was, “a call of God.” He did not see a change coming, but the Zondervan Company offered him the President’s position of their Bible publishing Consumer Group.  He said this was “His Call,” one he could not ignore. To know Sam you must read the following article from the January 12, 1975 Des Moines Sunday Register.  It was titled, “A Killer, An Executive Together in Christ.” “Sam is a highly paid business executive who knows little but success in life. He came from a warm home, is happily married, is tall and handsome.  Mac is a prison inmate who was reared by prostitutes in Beaumont, Tex., and grew up to kill 5 people.  He is short, paunchy, bald, tattooed, divorced and missing his lower front teeth.  Sam, the Executive and Mac the killer, say they love each other, and they want you to know about it.” “Sam is a New Jersey Jew-reared-a-Christian with a personality so large that when he smiles, that big smile booms, Have a Good Day.  He is a believer’s believer in the powers of Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit and Sam Schwartz.” “The spring after they met, it became more than Mac could handle.  In early June, he overdosed on pills in a suicide attempt.  Mac said, I woke up in the Fort Madison penal hospital, and I saw a cross. I realized then that my life wasn’t mine to take.  Sam had said all along that God had a job for me to do, and killing myself wasn’t part of the job.  Mac is now a voracious reader of anything dealing with the life of Christ. The letters to Sam come signed, The Brother Jesus Gave You.” These last 3 paragraphs reveal an accomplishment that ranks higher than all others. Sam is an upright God loving Angel now, at heaven's gate, standing tall, in his dress blues! He will be lovingly remembered by his sister, Thea Searle; his half-brother, Joseph Schwartz; his nieces and nephews; as well as several friends at Faith Church and the Clark Retirement Home. A graveside committal service with military honors will be held at 1:30 PM, Wednesday, April 11, 2018 at Graceland Memorial Park, 4341 Cascade Rd. SE, with Pastor Michael Keller, officiating.

                                              Stroo Funeral Home, Inc.
1095 68th Street SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49508

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