Husband, father, grandfather, cattle rancher, business owner and brother, Kenneth Schwartz passed on to be with the Lord Jesus on September 27, 2021, at the age of 80.
Kenneth Schwartz was born at home to Lydia and Henry Schwartz on October 2, 1940, in rural William Penn outside of Brenham, Texas. Kenneth was the fourth of seven children born to farmers of German descent, growing up in a home filled with love, faith, home cooking and a strong work ethic. He was baptized and confirmed at Bethlehem Lutheran Church and attended Brenham high school. Kenneth worked at a steel mill in Stafford, Texas and met his love Marie Hayes at a dance in Houston. They married and together raised three children Vickie, Margo and Kenneth Dean in Jersey Village, a suburb of Houston, prior to moving to Brenham in the 1970s. Shortly after marrying Marie, Kenneth started a business with Marie’s brother Oscar Hayes and had a long working relationship with nephew James Hayes as well. Kenneth formed Schwartz Construction, Inc. and later BSH Construction, Inc., serving as a general contractor for over 40 years in the Houston area on site work and water features for large developments and commercial buildings. He was masterfully skilled at site prep on heavy equipment, and operated bulldozers, excavators, and other heavy equipment himself even as the business owner and until his retirement. Kenneth cultivated many friendships and gained close business associates through his long career in construction. In retirement he maintained cattle on his property, enjoying drives out to the pasture to check on the “babies” and all the hard work involved with cattle ranching.
Kenneth was a lifelong Missouri Synod Lutheran, with memberships at Bethlehem Lutheran Church in William Penn, and Holy Cross Lutheran Church in College Station, Texas in his later years. Being with family brought Kenneth the most joy, from his siblings and their families to his wife, kids, grandkids, and great grandkids who knew him as Papa. Kenneth loved a good joke, and his quick humor and teasing manner was a part of his fun personality for all who knew him. He had nicknames for his siblings and grandkids and loved a good card game of pitch at many family gatherings. He loved to fish, with trotlines being his favorite, and the resulting fried catfish in ample amounts. Kenneth enjoyed country and Gospel music on television as well as taking care of the cattle that were like pets to him. He loved cooking and feeding his family for breakfast, steak dinners and large family gatherings. Papa made sure his grandkids had their favorites, “puffy” shrimp, sausage, biscuits, and sweet treats when they came to visit.
Kenneth is survived by his loving wife of 59 years, Marie, daughter Vickie Carroll and husband Bill, daughter Margo Barnes and husband Maury, son K.D. Schwartz and wife Elizabeth; seven grandchildren: Morgan Ryza and husband Rodney, Nikki Henderson, Shea Kerman, Blake Kerman and wife Jamie, Connor Schwartz, Olsen Schwartz, and Jessie Schwartz; great grandchildren are Brianna Booth, Elizabeth Booth, Georgia Maldonado, Haden Ryza, Gwen Ryza, Payton Kerman, and Decker Kerman. He is also survived by his siblings: sister Geraldine Pohlmeyer, brother Milton Schwartz and wife Shirley, brother Edward Schwartz, sister Gloria Ann Klussmann and husband Raymond, brother Trenton Dean Schwartz; sister-in-law, Sandra Schwartz and many other cousins, nieces, and nephews. Kenneth was preceded in death by his parents, brother Edgar Schwartz, and brother-in-law Glenn Pohlmeyer and other close family members.
Visitation will be held on Sunday, October 3, 2021, from 4-6 p.m. at Memorial Oaks Chapel, 1306 West Main Street, Brenham, Texas 77833. The celebration of life funeral service and burial will be held at Bethlehem Lutheran Church, 10202 FM 1935, Brenham, TX, 77833, at 11 a.m. on Monday, October 4 with a reception and meal at the church immediately following. Pastor Michael Hafer will serve as the officiant. Pallbearers are Wayne Caskey, Jody Chmelik, Chad Hayes, Bradley Klussmann, Don Pohlmeyer, Jeff Schwartz, Robert Schwartz, and Chris Whittaker. Honorary pallbearers are B.J. Ahrabli, Jon Blalock and Rick Lenz.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Holy Cross Lutheran Church Capital Campaign, 1200 Foxfire Drive, College Station, Texas 77845, or Bethlehem Lutheran Church, 10202 FM 1935, Brenham, Texas 77833.
Funeral services have been entrusted to Memorial Oaks Chapel, 1306 W. Main St. Brenham, TX 77833.