In our haste, we overlooked an extremely important passing recently. A dear friend, visionary leader, and philanthropist, Speaker Ramon Schwartz Jr. passed away on June 30 at the age of 92. First elected to the State House in 1968, Schwartz served for 18 years, the final six as Speaker. Outside of politics, Schwartz practiced law in Sumter for an astounding 68 years and served as president of the Sumter County Bar Association. Anyone who was lucky to have spent time with him at the State House, his office across from the courthouse in Sumter, or in church was enriched beyond measure. He loved his family, he loved Sumter, and he loved South Carolina. His wisdom will be missed.
Beginning with his Army deployment in Europe in World War II, Ramon Schwartz’s life was defined by service to community, state, and country. He was active is a wide array of community organizations and boards. His positive impact is evidenced by the many accolades he received throughout his long career, including the Order of the Palmetto; South Carolina Department of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Legislative Award; Greater Sumter Chamber of Commerce Outstanding Achievement Award; Pee Dee Area Boy Scouts of America Distinguished Citizen; 1957 Sumter Outstanding Young Man of the Year; honorary degrees from USC, The Citadel, and Newberry College; and Sumter Gamecock Club Fan of the Year.
Schwartz is survived by four children, eight grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren. We offer our deepest condolences to them and our gratitude for the countless contributions made by their father, grandfather, and great-grandfather to the state of South Carolina.