William Ray Schwartz went to be with the Lord on July 10, 2021. He died peacefully surrounded by his wife of 58 years and his two daughters. If you knew Bill, you would have to agree that he danced his way up to Jesus and then bowed at his feet. He did love the Lord and shared his beliefs with many.
Bill was born to Arnold Schwartz and Nellie (Ruth) Abbott on July 4, 1944. Yes, he was a firecracker all right. He had one sibling, Darrold Schwartz, who passed away in 1992. At one point in their careers, Darrold was a fire captain and Bill was police lieutenant. They both shared a love for their community. Moving to Tracy in 1946, Bill was raised by his mother and step dad, Wally Weiss. He graduated from Tracy High School in 1962 and received his AA from Delta College in 1974. While in high school, Bill’s best friends, Bob and Joann, introduced him to the love of his life, Alene Herriage. Bill’s mom moved out of town while he was still in high school, but not wanting to leave Alene, he made the decision to stay and support himself. He worked two jobs, played football, had a girlfriend, and managed to rent a small studio in Banta. Alene’s family loved him and helped support him during this time by feeding him meals and spending needed time with him.
After Bill and Alene were married in 1963, they moved to Oakland where he worked as a computer operator for PIE Trucking Co. They moved back to Tracy in 1965 and Bill worked many jobs including Sharpe Army Depot, Southern Pacific Railroad, and West Side Irrigation. He landed his dream job as a Tracy Police Officer in 1973. This was the job he loved and moved up to the ranks to Sergeant and then Lieutenant. He didn’t like the office job and desired to be back on the streets. When he wasn’t able to demote, he resigned and started his own trucking company. When the economy started slowing down, he was hired at East Bay Regional Parks as a police officer, where he worked about 3 years. Wanting to serve the citizens of Tracy again, he was hired back as a patrolman and was happier than ever! He worked on patrol for about 9 months when he got called to a domestic dispute. That call would change his life forever. He was stabbed 3 times. On his head, abdomen, and neck. Unfortunately, the knife clipped his spinal cord leaving him paralyzed from the chest down and his right hand. He lived out the rest of his days in a wheelchair.
This was devastating for a man who loved his life and had so many hobbies including spending time with family, camping, riding motorcycles, golfing, backpacking, leading bible studies, racquetball and photography.
Bill’s injury was life changing, but he lived on in different ways and tried to keep a positive outlook on his life. He loved traveling, going on cruises with his family, serving at church, playing poker with his dear family and friends, taking his dog Sammie for walks, and keeping up on news and politics. He loved to quietly help people in need, this gave him the most joy. Because of his injury, he and his family’s lives were changed forever. He had many ups and downs but tried to make the best of a terrible situation. The Tracy Community, City of Tracy and the Tracy Police Department supported his every step of the way, even naming a park after him.
Bill is survived by his wife, Alene Schwartz, His two daughters, Pam Castro and Suzi Quilici and his son in law, Larry Quilici. His grandchildren, Kyle Quilici, Bryan Quilici, Devin Quilici, Alyssa Quilici, Adam Castro, Eric Castro, Darin Castro, Kellie Hohn. 10 great grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews.
Fry Memorial Chapel, 550 South Central Avenue, Tracy, is honored to serve the Schwartz Family. A Celebration of Life will begin at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, July 31, 2021 at Fry’s Chapel. Services will be live streamed via his tribute page at www.frymemorialchapel.com. An online guest book is also available for condolences and special messages to the family.
Click here to view a webcast of the service on 7/31/2021 at 10:55 AM, Pacific Standard Time.
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