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Remembering Don Schwartz

February 02, 2005

When someone in The Herald-Mail newspaper family passes away, we feel a special sadness, not only because of how well we've come to know that person, but also because we will miss their contributions to our newspaper.

Don Schwartz was not an employee of The Herald-Mail, but because the longtime agricultural extension agent wrote a twice-monthly column, we felt as if he were.

Not only did Schwartz write regularly on topics of interest to the farm community, he lobbied for its interests in a variety of ways.

His willingness to lend his expertise to groups such as the task force that studied the Washington County Commissioners' rural rezoning plan will also be missed.

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But perhaps just as important, he was a friend to the people he served, spending hours, if need be, just talking to a farm family unsure of which way to take the family enterprise in the future.

Schwartz knew how tough such decisions could be because he was from a farm family himself. He chose to attend the University of Maryland, he said, so that he could come home on weekends and help with the family's herd of dairy cows.

Like the late Michael G. "Mike" Callas, Schwartz was one of those good people who it seems have been around forever - and whose presence we can come to take for granted. But cancer claimed him at age 53, too soon for the community to lose a loving family member and friend.

It would be most fitting to remember Schwartz and his service to the county with an exhibit at the Washington County Rural Heritage Museum. In that way, future visitors would be able to see the friendly face we came to know and read some of the wise words he passed along.

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