In memory of
Robert R. "Bob" Schwartz
In memory of
Robert R. "Bob" Schwartz
Waterford - Robert R. Schwartz, a local businessman who for decades co-owned and operated a small chain of auto parts stores, Rose Auto Supply, and was a fixture in the New London community, died Thursday afternoon May 28. He died at Lawrence and Memorial Hospital, where he was born, surrounded by his wife Myrna and their two children. He was 78. Mr. Schwartz, known as "Bob", owned and operated Rose Auto Supply with his brother-in-law Alan Rhodes. The business was founded in the 1950s by Mr. Rhodes' parents, who sold auto parts out of a truck to racers at the Waterford Speedbowl. The two worked together for 30 years and grew the business into a successful local chain with seven locations. After selling Rose Auto, Bob started another successful venture, a Sign-O-Rama franchise, with his friend Peter Bachner. Locating that business on Bank Street in New London was a signal of Bob's commitment to and love for the city where he was born and raised. Bob was a quiet man described by those who knew him "as eternally young" with a "strong moral compass." He felt an obligation to help provide his employees with health insurance. He worked privately and without fuss with the addiction counselors of an employee who suffered from alcoholism to get him back on track, using the incident as an example of the ethics of mercy, kindness, and second chances he would pass on to his children. Bob served on the Board and chaired the youth group of Beth El Synagogue, which was co-founded by his grandparents. For nearly two decades he was the vice president and then president of the Board of Beth El Cemetery. He served a term on the Waterford RTM. He was an avid golfer and for a time president of the New London Country Club. Schwartz was a graduate of New London High School, class of 1960, and lettered in football, wrestling, and track. He graduated from The University of Connecticut, class of 1965. He loved nature, travel, sports, and dogs and was an accomplished gardener and amateur landscape architect whose terraced gardens, marked by stone walls, paths, and staircases, were widely admired. But more than anything, Bob loved his family and his friends, including many lifelong friends. Born Dec. 2, 1941 to Arthur and Therése Schwartz, he married his high school sweetheart Myrna Rhodes in December 1963, having known her since nursery school. The depth of their love and granite-strong marriage was evident to anyone who knew them even casually and was a role model for so many. Together they raised two children, each of whom is married. He had two grandchildren. He died of complications from MALT lymphoma and is survived by his wife Myrna; his daughter Lori Schwartz, her wife Colleen and their sons, Sam and Eian; and his son, Stephen Trask and his husband Michael Trask; and brother David Schwartz of Manchester. Donations may be sent to: Garde Arts Center https://gardearts.org/support/ or The Jewish Federation of Eastern Connecticut https://www.jfec.com/donate .
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Services Provided By
Thomas L. Neilan & Sons Funeral Home
12 Ocean Avenue
New London, CT 06320
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In memory of
Robert R. "Bob" Schwartz
Waterford - Robert R. Schwartz, a local businessman who for decades co-owned and operated a small chain of auto parts stores, Rose Auto Supply, and was a fixture in the New London community, died Thursday afternoon May 28. He died at Lawrence and Memorial Hospital, where he was born, surrounded by his wife Myrna and their two children. He was 78. Mr. Schwartz, known as "Bob", owned and operated Rose Auto Supply with his brother-in-law Alan Rhodes. The business was founded in the 1950s by Mr. Rhodes' parents, who sold auto parts out of a truck to racers at the Waterford Speedbowl. The two worked together for 30 years and grew the business into a successful local chain with seven locations. After selling Rose Auto, Bob started another successful venture, a Sign-O-Rama franchise, with his friend Peter Bachner. Locating that business on Bank Street in New London was a signal of Bob's commitment to and love for the city where he was born and raised. Bob was a quiet man described by those who knew him "as eternally young" with a "strong moral compass." He felt an obligation to help provide his employees with health insurance. He worked privately and without fuss with the addiction counselors of an employee who suffered from alcoholism to get him back on track, using the incident as an example of the ethics of mercy, kindness, and second chances he would pass on to his children. Bob served on the Board and chaired the youth group of Beth El Synagogue, which was co-founded by his grandparents. For nearly two decades he was the vice president and then president of the Board of Beth El Cemetery. He served a term on the Waterford RTM. He was an avid golfer and for a time president of the New London Country Club. Schwartz was a graduate of New London High School, class of 1960, and lettered in football, wrestling, and track. He graduated from The University of Connecticut, class of 1965. He loved nature, travel, sports, and dogs and was an accomplished gardener and amateur landscape architect whose terraced gardens, marked by stone walls, paths, and staircases, were widely admired. But more than anything, Bob loved his family and his friends, including many lifelong friends. Born Dec. 2, 1941 to Arthur and Therése Schwartz, he married his high school sweetheart Myrna Rhodes in December 1963, having known her since nursery school. The depth of their love and granite-strong marriage was evident to anyone who knew them even casually and was a role model for so many. Together they raised two children, each of whom is married. He had two grandchildren. He died of complications from MALT lymphoma and is survived by his wife Myrna; his daughter Lori Schwartz, her wife Colleen and their sons, Sam and Eian; and his son, Stephen Trask and his husband Michael Trask; and brother David Schwartz of Manchester. Donations may be sent to: Garde Arts Center https://gardearts.org/support/ or The Jewish Federation of Eastern Connecticut https://www.jfec.com/donate .
View Full Obituary ›
Services Provided By
Thomas L. Neilan & Sons Funeral Home
12 Ocean Avenue
New London, CT 06320
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