Jeffrey Alan Shwartz of Newtown died suddenly on Nov. 3, 2020, in Stamford. He was 63. He was the wife of Nancy Davis Shwartz and the son of the late Leonard David Shwartz and the late Renee Bacal Keane.
Jeffrey Alan Shwartz Contributed photo
He is survived by his daughter Amelia Davis Shwartz of Bristol; and his son Alan Wayland Shwartz, his daughter-in-law Grace Winkler Shwartz, and his grandson Taliesin Malcolm Shwartz of Manassas, VA.
Jeff was born Aug. 6, 1957, in New York and grew up in Westport. He went through the Westport public school system but preferred to learn by doing and reading. He was an adventurer. He lived by the philosophy that life is short and you should find a passion and pursue it. His passions included hot air ballooning, playing poker, selling cars, ham radio, master gardening (although he wasn’t very good at that), sailing, backpacking, and beekeeping.
Jeff was well-known locally as a beekeeper, mentor, and member of the Backyard Beekeepers Association. He understood and loved bees and in turn, they loved him. He devoted the last part of his life to educating adults and kids alike about honeybees as well as other insects. Jeff loved sharing his knowledge and holding bee demonstrations at schools, fairs, and farms. He encouraged children to not fear bees and wasps but to appreciate them. His advice to those who have a paper wasp nest on their property was to leave it alone because they eat things that eat us, such as mosquitos.
Jeff was one of the most passionate, interesting, and smartest men we have known. He was a problem solver. He embraced a challenge, he loved deeper than most of us, and he was the most loyal of friends. Jeff regularly talked with anyone about everything, anything, and nothing. He enjoyed chess, badminton, boomerangs, and sailing. He gulped life. The water, especially Long Island Sound, was where Jeff loved to be and where he wanted to die, if he had a choice. He loved his boat and relished every sunrise and sunset that he saw from Stamford Harbor. His dream was to sail the world, and his boat brought him one step closer to that goal.
The world has lost one of its most interesting people and his family feels privileged to have walked through life by his side. We will miss him more than we could ever express. As said by a dear friend, we do not have the words to express the grief and loss, not just for the family, but for all the unwritten chapters of Jeff’s life.
In addition to his wife and children, Jeff is survived by the best cat ever, Sophie Mae, and three African grey parrots. He is also survived by his sister, Robbin Golas (Gary), of Trumbull; brother, Joshua Kane (Abigail), of New York; stepfather, George Keane, of Trumbull; stepmother, Joan Shwartz, of Westport; stepbrothers, Brian Keane, Geoff Keane, and Scott Rosen; stepsisters, Sheila Keane and Dinah Rosen; in-laws, Robert and Agnes Davis, of The Villages,FL; Ed Davis (Linda) of Hollister, Calif.; Mary Lou Davis of The Villages, Fla; John Davis (Ellen) of Raleigh, NC; Rick Davis (Beth) of Newtown; and several aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews, and friends.
A memorial service is planned for the summer when it is hoped that COVID-19 will allow us to gather safely.
In lieu of flowers, please consider donations to the Jeff Shwartz Be Educated in Entomology Scholarship Fund, Backyard Beekeepers Association, PO Box 335, Redding Ridge, CT 06876.