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Harold Schwartz

Harold Schwartz

Passed on: November 10th, 2017

Harold Schwartz, life-long champion of Cape Breton, retailer, community leader, world traveler and avid sportsman, died Friday, November 10, 2017 in Sydney at the age of 86 after a twenty- four year battle with Parkinson's disease.
Harold was the son of the late Abraham and Rose (Claener) Schwartz of New Waterford.
He is survived by his loving wife and best friend of 47 years, Diane Bernick Schwartz; his two children, Dr. Shoshana Schwartz Feiner of New Jersey and Noah Schwartz of Toronto; his son-in-law, Dr. Leonard Feiner, and his three adoring granddaughters, Ella, Amelia and Kate Feiner. He was the fifth of six siblings, all of whom predeceased him, Edna Schwartz, Ruth Goldbloom, Joey, Irving and Bram Schwartz, and he will be remembered as a fun-loving uncle by his many nieces and nephews.
Harold was born in New Waterford and shortly thereafter, his young father died unexpectedly, leaving his mother Rose to build a business and raise six children on her own. He grew up in the retail business and was driving his family’s furniture delivery truck by the age of fourteen. At fifteen, it was decided he should attend Sydney Academy in preparation for him to take over his aunt and uncle’s Charlotte Street store, Jacobson’s Ladies Wear. As team captain, he proudly led their rugby team to the Maritime championship.
Harold didn’t just take over the store; soon after he took the helm, Jacobson’s grew to include a sportswear store up the street called The Tweed and Hickory and very a popular discount operation called The Cellar. As a pillar of the Charlotte Street community and president of the Downtown Business Association, he organized downtown days and could be seen throwing balloons filled with money off of rooftops to attract shoppers. Always promoting Cape Breton, he invested in many local industries including sustainable fish farming, wind energy, and TechLink to name a few. He was a loyal supporter of CBU and was on the first leadership board of the Shannon School of Business. And when the Jeux Canada Games came to town, he was the director of the merchandising committee and for the first time in the history of the games, they made a profit! In recognition of his business achievement and his tireless community leadership, Harold was elected to the Cape Breton Business Hall of Fame in 2006.
As a proud member of the Sydney Jewish community, Harold served on the Atlantic Jewish Council and was a strong supporter of Israel. Thanks to his generosity, a community center for disadvantaged children in Ben Yehuda now bears his name. In the wider community, he was a supporter of many local charities including United Way, Big Brothers Big Sisters Cape Breton, The CB Regional Hospital Foundation and the Parkinson’s Superwalk.
Harold had many hobbies including sailing, tennis, skiing and golf and he made a large impact on these various communities. As the first president of the Ben Eoin Ski Club, he helped purchase the mountain that continues to provide hundreds of families the opportunity to enjoy the sport that he loved.
In his early years, he served as commodore of the Dobson Yacht Club and was an active member of the Cromarty Tennis Club. After retirement, he became a fixture on his beloved Highland Links golf course in Ingonish. Despite the fact that he could barely walk due to advanced Parkinson’s, he managed to swing a golf club and was always optimistic that his game would improve at his next round. This past summer he enjoyed catching mackerel off of the wharf in Ingonish with his granddaughters and never missed an opportunity to attend a Celtic Colors concert. Although he was lucky enough to travel to more than a hundred countries in his lifetime, he always insisted that Cape Breton Island was the most beautiful spot on the planet.
His funeral will take place Monday at The Sydney Memorial Chapel on Welton Street at 1 p.m.
No flowers please. Memorials may be made to The Parkinson Society Maritime Region, www.parkinson.ca or 7071 Bayers Rd., Suite 150, Halifax, NS, B3L 2C2.
Words of comfort can be sent to the family at www.sydneymemorialchapel.ca or e-mail sydneymemorialchapel@ns.sympatico.ca.


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