Jeffrey Schwartz, 44, passed away Monday, Jan. 7, 2013, at Community Howard Regional Health. Jeffrey was born September 17, 1968, in Kokomo. Jeff was the third of eight children born to Thomas and Loretta Schwartz, all of whom survive.
Jeff was a 1987 graduate of Northwestern High School. He joined the U.S. Army the same year as a combat engineer, where he served with the famed 101st Air Assault Division, Fort Campbell, Ky. He later joined the 2nd Armored Calvary Regiment in Germany. He experienced combat for the first time in 1991 during Operation Desert Storm. He was awarded the Army Commendation Medal for his actions. His unit participated in what would later be known as the “Hook around the Iraqi Republican Guard Tawakalna and Hamnurabi” divisions. This culminated in the Battle of Medina Ridge, the largest force on the force tank battle of the war, and largest in the history of the U.S. Army.
He left the service in 1993, and moved back with his wife, Lori, and their two small children to Kokomo, where he began his studies for a nursing degree at Indiana University Kokomo. While a student, Jeff was extraordinary active within the school’s nursing program. His professional involvement included being the vice president of IUK’s Student Nurses Program, and was a board member of the Indiana Association of Student Nurses. He served his student internship at Wishard Health Services as a member of the Surgical/Trauma Intensive Care Unit. Additionally, Jeff was vice president of the Honor’s Society at IUK, and associate justice of the Student Supreme Court while still a student at IUK. There, he earned numerous scholarships and community service awards.
Jeff graduated in 1998 with honors in nursing from IUK. In 1999, Jeff was selected IUK Alumni Association Distinguished Alumnus. In 2001, Jeff returned to military service as a U.S. Army Officer, and he served as a surgical nurse at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Jeff participated in hundreds of trauma surgeries for soldiers returning with serious injuries from the global war on terrorism. He was attached to the U.S. Army’s famed 3rd Infantry Division during the initial advance toward Bagdad, Iraq.
Upon return from OIF 1, Jeff returned to Walter Reed AMC, where he instructed nursing students. In October 2008, he was medically retired from the U.S. Army. Jeff, Lori, and their six children then moved back to Russiaville. Jeff continued his extreme support within his community. He was heavily involved in disabled veterans organizations, and was Legislative for the Disabled American Veterans, Chapter 31, and various church functions.
His family and friends remember Jeff as a friend to everyone, a compassionate supporter of those in need, and an extraordinarily loving husband and father. Above all, he loved the Lord with all his heart, and this was evident in his actions and daily life. Jeff will be dearly missed by his family and all who knew and loved him.
Surviving are his wife of 21 years, Lori (White); four daughters, Morgan, 20, Allissa, 19, Kaylie, 14, and Lindsey, 8; two sons, Jeffrey, 11, and Isaiah, 10; two sisters, Dawne and Andrea; and five brothers, Brian, Steve, Rick, Kevin and Brent Schwartz.
Funeral services will be 10 a.m. Saturday at First Church of The Nazarene, 2734 N. Washington St., with Pastor Gary Foster officiating. Burial will follow in South Union Cemetery. Friends may visit with the family from 4 to 8:30 p.m. Friday at Shirley & Stout Funeral Homes & Crematory, Lincoln Road Chapel, 1315 W. Lincoln Road.