Noted Libertarian activist and Advocates Vice Chair George Schwappach passes away

The following is from LNC member Dr. James Lark:

George Schwappach passed away in early May. I have lost a friend and colleague, the Advocates has lost one of our "founding fathers," and the liberty movement has lost a great champion.

I first met George by telephone just over 25 years ago. He organized a driving tour for me during the spring of 1986; I met with libertarians in various localities to help them organize "Seminar 1" groups for the Advocates. I drove from Evanston, Illinois to Vancouver, BC, and back, meeting with libertarians in Omaha (NE), Casper (WY), Boise (ID), Eugene (OR), Beaverton (OR), Vancouver (BC), Seattle (WA), Tacoma (WA), Missoula (MT), and Crooks (SD). Given the meeting dates he established and the distances between localities, I jokingly congratulated him on his ability to organize the tour without ever consulting a map.

As I learned more about George, I found him to be a man of intelligence and wit, passion and compassion, with a devotion to the cause of liberty. He had an abiding zeal to promote the principles of liberty and responsibility, and he always sought ways to help people understand the essence of the libertarian perspective.

It wasn’t until I joined the Board of Directors of the Advocates in 2003 that I began to work closely with George on a routine basis. While I had thought well of him prior to that time, it was through our work together on the Board that I saw what a truly fine fellow he was. He worked hard and well to help the Advocates pursue our mission, bringing a keen analytical mind (as well as humor and humility) to bear upon the problems we faced. When I had the honor to be elected chairman of the Board in 2009, George stepped up to the plate to serve as vice chair; he performed his duties with his usual competence, enthusiasm, and good humor.

As with his good friend and fellow Christian Marshall Fritz (founder of the Advocates), George treated people with courtesy and respect, always looking for ways to turn strangers into friends. As with Marshall, he was remarkably creative in finding opportunities to share libertarian ideas with others. As with Marshall, he faced a deadly enemy (cancer) with tremendous courage, grace, and humor. As with Marshall, he departed from us much too soon and much too young.

Many years ago Lyndon Johnson (someone I don’t remember fondly) supposedly observed that usually one should not pass up a free meal or a chance to go to the bathroom. Allow me to suggest that one should not pass up the opportunity to say "Thank you." Fortunately, I said "Thank you" to George several times; unfortunately, I doubt I said it enough.

George, on behalf of the Board: Thank you. May God bless you and keep you.

Your friend,

Dr. Lark is the chairman of the Board of Directors of the Advocates for Self-Government. He also serves as Region 5S Representative on the Libertarian National Committee. He served as chairman of the Libertarian National Committee during the 2000-2002 term.