In Memory

Richard Schwanbeck

Richard Schwanbeck

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07/27/14 12:27 PM #13    

Patricia (Fatima) Lassar

07/28/14 12:28 PM #14    

Arnold Friedman

I only knew Dick from Evanston Little League but always thought that he wa sa pretty down to earth guy altough just as an aquaintance in high school. Sorry that i dont have any better stories and that he's not still around. I guess that sometimes the good die young!

07/28/14 01:29 PM #15    

Bonnie Robinson

Thanks for the photos, Pat. It certainly brought back many memories. Dick was a very good athlete, like his older brothers. Dick, Steve Hancock, et al. were all great pals and my close ETHS girl friends, Pat Richey, Kathy Lambert, Joyce Hehir and Missy Nelson and I all hung out with them as well as Dick Ollman and Steve Harrison. They were quite a rowdy bunch and Dick was definitely the wildest and most bold -- always pushing the envelope and egging the other guys in the group on. BTW -- Dick was quite bright, but for reasons unknown to me and the rest who have commented, lost interest in school.Let's all hope that he's been at peace and is playing football and baseball on some championship team in another realm.




07/28/14 08:21 PM #16    

Bruce Boyer

Dick was my best friend all through grade school at Lincoln.  I spent a lot of time at his house, which was -- to use the current jargon -- dysfunctional.  His mother had to run the place because Dick's father was perenially absent -- I think I saw him in the flesh maybe twice in my life.  It was quitre a brood, too -- Bill, Noreen, John and Dick -- all smart, all sharp.  

Dick's father took off for good sometime during high school, and that was when things really deteriorated over on Forest Avenue.  I remember going over to the house around senior year, and the kids were living trhere alone because Dad had taken off and I'm not sure where the mother had gone -- I do remember once going into the old Walker Brothers on Main Street and she was running the cash register.

There wera always high-jinks, as some of the other people have retold and which is part of high school, but I could sense Dick losing his way as we got to be juniors and seniors.

My saddest memory, however, is this one.  One day, the summer after we had graduated, I got a call from Dick.  He was living down in the Juneway Terrace area, also known as the Jungle, amd he wanted to get together.  I can't remember what I was doing except that I knew I was all set to head off to collge in Massachusetts, so I put him off and said I'd get back to him.  I never did.

The next thing I knew was perhaps ten years later when I ran into Emil Beck, who was three or four years younger (I knew him fromn Lincoln School) and he told me Dick had died.  The cause was alcohol, and Emil said that he had been with Dick once when Dick said that he wanted to have another drink even though he knew it would probably kill him. And it did.

I have always regretted turning him down that day -- probably wouldn't have made a difference in the long run but it still weighs on me.

Bruce Boyer




07/29/14 12:03 PM #17    

Mark Goodman


Your recollections reflect my memories exactly.  Dick was a terrific person and the effects of his home life were clearly apparent in their impact.  I ran into Dick in the lobby of a downtonw office building sometime in 1974 aa he was making his way to go visit his father.  The toll and efficts of acholism were clearly present and it was a short time after that that I learned of his death.

With his talent, wit,charm and kindness, we suffered the loss of a promising future unfullfilled of a wonderful classmate and friend.

07/29/14 01:49 PM #18    

Bonnie Robinson

Thanks for the incite(s) into Dick troubled home life. I guess I just don't remember that since we lived at a time where the word "divorce" would send shudders down our spines and the thought that we didn't have "Ozzie & Harriet" or "Father Knows Best" lives was abhorrant; even thugh many of us probably also lived with some level of dysfuntionality in our homes. Again, I do remember Dick as a smart and athletically talented friend and Mark your words are very kind and wise.


07/30/14 07:52 AM #19    

Winston Alt

A couple of unrelated memories of Dick and Forest Avenue: one day we came by (probably with Steve Harrison and Dick Ollman) and there had been a mattress fire in the Schwanbeck house--someone falling asleep with a cigarette; the second, happier memory, is seeing Dick demonstrate--with a great deal of pride-- his invention of a string-operated remote control for the television in his bedroom. Just like one of those old clothing lines on a pulley. I always admired his athletic ability and fairness.

07/30/14 08:41 PM #20    

Nancy Gilbert (Murphy)

Thank you to Pat Lassar for posting those photos of Dick, and to others who are sharing recollections... There is so much we couldn't understand back then. How difficult it must have been for Dick to hold things together...sad

09/11/14 12:26 AM #21    

Don Hall

Many of you have touched on the chaos that reigned in the Schwanbeck household on Forest Ave.  As the father (a senior accountant with Touche) and the mother (a strong-willed Eastern European lady) drifted apart...the household fell apart.  Dick's older brother, John and older sister Noreen, florished inspite ot the maddness.  For example, I recall Bill Schwanbeck, the oldest of the lot, having a house contents sale to infuriate "the old man" because of his lack of monetary support while in the midst of the divorce from the mother.  My guess this was either in our junior early senior year when things were falling apart in a big way...all the while, Dick was distancing himself from his prior and usual friends:  Hall, Hancock, Ollman, Harrison, Lienenweber et. al....(he was going in another direction...and, none of us had the maturity or awareness of how to help or what to do.)


Many of you have mentioned his humor, athleticism, intellegence, kindness and friendliness...all true.  Dick was fun to be around and our friendship grew in 7th and 8th grade via Nichols Jr. High.  We skipped campus several times to go to the Toddle House for a "greasy hamburger and fries"...combined with a Pepsi, and we were in adolescent heaven.  Once, during Winter, we contrived a "sling-shot" snow ball thrower out of a car tire inner tube and attached it to his second-story window.  For the unsuspecting passerby, Dick and I found targets of opportunity.  The hardest thing to do was to keep the snow balls from melting...but, we managed until the "Cops" came to the door...what an adventure.  Now I could tell of the trip wire we strung up at ankle height between two trees out in front of the Schwanbeck house on halloween nght; or, I could tell of the time Mrs Schwanbeck took us to the Arlington Race track to teach us how to bet; or searching for Dick's contact lens in the front yard at night with flashlights (we found it!), but that would take more time and I would have just touched the surface of all the "Schwanbeck Tales."


A quality life lost is tragic...Dick Schwanbeck was one of the most tragic given the enormus possibilities in front of him...I think he just got caught up in the family chaos surrounding him and couldn't breakout...I wish he had...he was a "good guy" fact, that's the Dick Schwanbeck I remember....



09/12/14 01:55 PM #22    

Rosanne Bass (Keynan)

When Dick wanted to ask me out, an intermediary was required to bridge the distance between "S" and "B" across the wide homeroom, as well as across cultures from jock to NJG in honors classes from Skokie. The emissary was instructed to find out if I would be interested. At first I wasn't sure who he was, but the intermediary (and I can't remember who this was) vouched for him.

This must have occurred in sophomore, or even freshman, year because no one had a driver's license. His father chauffeured us to a movie without speaking to me or helping break the ice, as my own father no doubt would have done. The frosty atmosphere in the car must have set the tone for the date, because Dick and I remained tongue-tied. I had absolutely no idea about his home life.

Dick seemed sweet, shy and gentlemanly. I was very saddened to read of the struggles he faced, leading to his downward spiral and untimely death.

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