Gerald A. Schwarz
Gerald A. Schwarz was born Nov. 4, 1928, at 3 p.m. in the family home in Waterbury, the youngest child to Sarah and Henry Schwarz and brothers Leonard and Basil. He died Oct. 9. Gerald (Geri) leaves behind his loving wife Weronika Kumoch-Schwarz in Guilford and two married children, Douglas (Alisha) and Heather (Ron Damotta); two stepsons, Ronald Dirks and Oliver Dirks; five grandchildren, Kari (Aaron Fliss), Nicole Lemelin, Gregory Schwarz, Carly Schwarz, and Christopher Schwarz; and one great-grandchild, Isaac Fliss.
In recent years, Geri reflected on his life experiences by writing his autobiography, “Kicking the Can Down the Road.” He reminisced on biking from place to place as a young boy and then hitchhiking from place to place as a teenager. He vividly remembered living through such historical events as the 1938 hurricane that wiped out most of Connecticut, and the incredible Air Ship Hindenburg flying above him while fishing with his parents at Meigs Point at Hammonasset State Park, only to later learn that very same day the Air Ship had crashed in New Jersey. He told this story many times explaining in detail that this event was as vivid in his mind as the day it happened. After high school, Geri attended the Whitney School of Art where he learned his craft: graphic art, composition, line art, anatomy drawing, and painting, while also studying art history at Yale School of Art.
Geri reflected on the beginning of World War II and in particular 1941 when Pearl Harbor was bombed. In 1949, Geri was drafted into the army and was deployed in 1950 to assist in the Korean War where he was assigned to a group that worked on psychological warfare. After Geri was honorably discharged, he then began to prepare for his future and in 1961 he started the company Marine Fashion which provided high quality specialty boat hardware and fabrication. In the mid-1960’s, he started his advertising business named Gerald A Schwarz and Associates Advertising, later named “WerGer & Company” which he ran with his wife, Weronika.
All these businesses had a common thread: creativity and passion for being different from the competition. Geri was a very creative person and was also very humble with his creative writings. Geri closely collaborated with his friend, Laurence Urdang, (a lexicographer, world-renowned expert in language and editor of Random House Dictionary) where Geri helped Laurence with marketing strategies and Laurence advised Geri in language and word usage. Geri’s advertising agency was a huge part of his life for more than 30 years. He artfully weaved his creative ideas passionately with many creative artists and writers he employed and collaborated with throughout the years on thousands of advertising campaigns, product launches, product marketing, and educational bulletins.
Geri had a very special passion for sailing and designing and building his own personal sailboats. His first sailboat was a converted 1945 42’ double ended lifeboat into a gaff rigged sailboat named SARUGA. His second sailboat was a creation that took four years to construct; it was a 1989 Tayana 55’ cutter named SAGJO.
Geri often spoke about himself as “Mister Lucky”; he wished everyone could “enjoy scenic vistas along the roads you’ve yet to travel, hopefully without potholes.” Services will be private.