Lee Roy Walter Schwartz was born on the family farm near Priddy Texas, to Fritz and Minnie (Kunkel) Schwartz on December 24, 1937. He went to be with the Lord at the same farmhouse on November 3, 2019, at the age of 81.
German was the first language at the Schwartz home. Lee Roy learned English as a student at Priddy ISD. He talked fondly of his time in Boy Scouts of America, and passed on the knot tying and other skills he learned to his children and grandchildren. He played on the Priddy High varsity basketball and football teams, and exhibited livestock at both county and major shows. Lee Roy was a skilled basketball player, but his passion was farming and ranching. This became obvious when, upon graduation from high school, he turned down a scholarship to play collegiate basketball and chose instead to focus immediately on a career in agriculture.
Lee Roy was a lifetime member of Zion Lutheran Church in Priddy. He was baptized and confirmed at Zion Lutheran, and served as church council chair three times, and as a council member for many more years. During one term as chair of the council, the congregation experienced an extended pastoral vacancy. Lee Roy took the lead in arranging visiting pastors for the congregation for a continuous three-year period, until a new pastor was called. Whether on the council or not, Lee Roy was always ready to do what was needed to keep the church focused on it’s mission and the building and grounds in good condition.
Lee Roy was a well-respected community servant from an early age. Soon after graduating high school, he was elected to serve as a trustee on the Priddy school board. He was re-elected repeatedly until voluntarily withdrawing to run for Mills County Precinct 4 Commissioner. During three terms as Precinct 4 Commissioner, Lee Roy sought to keep roads and bridges in his precinct well maintained. He used county funds frugally, shopping for bargains on heavy equipment, and used his considerable skills as a mechanic to refurbish each piece into good working condition. Lee Roy worked with the county judge and other commissioners to establish a 9-1-1 system in Mills county, and maintain ambulance service.
Lee Roy served on the Brown-Mills Soil and Water Conservation District for many years. He earned recognition as an expert marksman during 13 years of service in the National Guard, and was a member of the Priddy American Legion.
Lee Roy was deeply, lovingly devoted to Caroline, his wife of 63 years. He loved his family dearly, and gave unselfishly of his time and energy. His many grandchildren and great-grandchildren cherished spending time with him on the family farm. He had a servant’s heart, never turning away a friend, neighbor, or stranger in need, many times at the expense of his own business.
Lee Roy is survived by his wife, Caroline (Niemann) Schwartz, daughter Sharon Schwartz Riewe of Goldthwaite, son Andy Schwartz and wife Kathy of Austin, son Donald Schwartz and fiance’ Tjwanah Conklin of Proctor, daughter Amy and husband Eddie Huddleston of Sidney, ten grandchildren, eleven great grandchildren, and a growing number of adopted grandchildren and great grandchildren. He is preceded in death by his parents, Fritz and Minnie Schwartz, and brothers Layart, Paul, Melvin, and Charlie Schwartz.