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Death of Edina Public Servant Harold Schwartz, 92, Prompts Flood of Memories

Schwartz "epitomized the best of Morningside," his neighbors said.

Credit: Don Curle/Morningside Alumni Facebook Page
Credit: Don Curle/Morningside Alumni Facebook Page
Harold Schwartz, a Morningside celebrity who served as one of the villages just two employees before it merged with Edina, died on Dec. 11 at the age of 92.

Dozens of Edina residents marked his passing on the Morningside School Alumni and Edina Historical Society Facebook pages, where he was remembered for his decades of good-natured maintenance of the city's roads and ice rink.

"My brother Rob and I used to follow him around when he was picking up trash," Jim Joyce wrote online. "He even hid some toys one day in a trash can and then told us to go check it out. To our amazement, there was a couple of toys waiting for us. Magic!"

A World War II Navy Veteran, Schwartz took care of snow plowing, sewers, pot holes and more as Morningside's only public works employee in the 1950s and '60s.

"When it snowed he would lift his plow blade so that the drift wasn't left in front of your driveway," John Shepherd wrote in a 2012 reminiscence. "When there were garbage strikes through the years, he was there to pick up the refuse. If there was a problem during heavy rains, he was there to clean the gutters and make sure that the water flowed freely."

When Morningside and Edina merged in 1966, he joined Edina's public works department.

The Clapps, his neighbors for 16 years, wrote in a Legacy.com guestbook that he "epitomized the best of Morningside."

We're "grateful for the many wonderful memories we have of Branson Street and the Schwartzes, and the many times Harold came to our aid—like when our house suddenly turned icy cold the first winter after we moved in, and Harold informed us we had an oil furnace and the tank had run dry," they wrote. "Who knew? Our kids grew up believing there was nothing Harold didn't know or couldn't do, and his kindness and generosity to our family were boundless."

He is survived by his children, Dale, LaVonna and LaVerne; his brother Howard; his grandchildren, Melinda, Dana, Megan and Matthew; and his great-grandchildren, Duke, Graham and Greta.

The visitation is from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Dec. 16 at Washburn McReavy.

His funeral will be 11 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 17, at Washburn McReavy, with visitation starting at 10 a.m. 

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