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In Loving Memory

Schwalbe, Gary J.

Gary Schwalbe Obituary
Gary J. Schwalbe, beloved husband, father, and friend, passed away on July 27, 2023, at the age of 78. Gary was born on February 26, 1945, in St. Louis, Missouri. He was the only child of Frances Marie Schwalbe (nee Horan) and Harold Sylvester (Bud) Schwalbe.
Gary grew up in old town Florissant which had a small town atmosphere. He played sandlot baseball with neighbors, biked to a local farm to work and play with friends, and attended Sacred Heart Elementary School. He and his cousin learned to swim by watching others in the Florissant pool. He would later become head lifeguard at the very same pool.
Gary’s Irish cousins, Bill McDonald, Carole McDonald, Joe Fitzgerald, and Patricia Grey (nee Fitzgerald) were a constant in his life, the brothers, and sisters he never had. When Gary was five the family moved to Florida. Gary’s cousin Carole went with them. Gary’s mother put both children in school hoping to increase their chances of making friends. Gary was too young to attend school, so he constantly slipped out of his class to sit by his cousin Carole in her room. Once on the way home from school, Carole talked a pilot into taking them up in his plane. There were always adventures when cousins were nearby.
Gary attended Aquinas High School. Basketball was his sport of choice in high school, with baseball a close second. Coach Ed Donahue and Father Blattner were big influences on the Aquinas boys and graduates would say the coach and priest showed the boys how to be good men.
While attending the University of Central Missouri, Gary met his wife, Marietta McConkey. The two married in 1972 when Gary completed an enlistment in the Air Force.
Gary and Marietta raised two wonderful children, Patrick Schwalbe and Susanne Byerly. Family and faith were the cornerstones of Gary’s life, and he was the rock of the Schwalbe family.
Gary is survived by his wife of 51 years, as well as his children Patrick (Heather) Schwalbe, Susanne (Jerry) Byerly; and five grandchildren; Taylor Schwalbe, Cole Schwalbe, Jackson Byerly and Josh Byerly.
As a man of intellect and curiosity, Gary devoted himself to lifelong learning. He held a deep appreciation for government and politics and could often be found engrossed in works of history and politics. His unwavering compassion, quiet strength, and pursuit of knowledge will be remembered. His absence leaves a void that cannot be filled, but the memories he has left behind will continue to inspire and enrich the lives of all who were fortunate enough to have known him.
The burial will take place at Jefferson Barracks on the afternoon of September 15th with a ceremony for the family. All of Gary’s friends and family are invited to a celebration of his life to gather, tell stories, eat, drink, and reminisce on that same day (September 15th) from 5 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Arnold Elks Lodge.
Donations in memory of his name may be made to the Arnold Food Pantry and Angels’ Arms.

Service of Kutis South County Chapel 5255 Lemay Ferry Road.


2 thoughts on “Schwalbe, Gary J.”

  1. I was so sorry to hear that Gary has passed on. He was kind and thoughtful in High School and, although I hadn’t seen him in many years, he recently sent and email during Covid to give support and kindness through that awful time. He will be missed. I send sincere sympathy to his family and friends.

  2. I worked with Gary in the late 1970s in the St. Louis Area Office of the old Civil Service Commission downtown. I had no idea he had so many adventures as a child! We rarely talked, as he was a supervisor over a different part of the Area Office than I was in, so I didn’t know much about him. He was easy-going with the staff, although I remember one time when I and a co-worker were yakking away, he (quite rightly) told us to shut up!! It is wonderful that he has left such a deep positive impression on those who knew him well. The obituary is a wonderful tribute to him.


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