Surrounded by loved ones in Scottsdale, Arizona, Howard Schwartz left us far too soon on Oct. 12, 2021. An active and vibrant 83-year-old, Howard was sadly stricken by the West Nile Virus in late September. The oldest of three children, Howard was born in Detroit, where he lived until 1977 when he moved with his young family to Scottsdale. During the 57 years that Howard practiced law in Arizona, he was one of the first public defenders in Maricopa County and spent 25 years as Deputy County Attorney, also serving as a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Federal Organized Crime and Racketeering Bureau. Howard simultaneously pursued his passion for real estate and invested in land and residential development across the Valley.
Other special highlights of Howard’s career and philanthropy include admission to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court, and serving as Chairman of the Arizona State Lottery Commission, Treasurer of the Beth El Congregation Board of Directors, and attorney coach of a high school mock trial team. He was also an active member of the Jewish Community Relations Council, Jewish National Fund Lawyers for Israel and Train Collectors Association.
Family was Howard’s central focus. He was a devoted grandfather who derived great joy from attending his grandchildren’s activities and sporting events. Vacations primarily consisted of ski trips with as many as 18 family members. Other family travel included attending baseball games at different stadiums across the country and taking trips to Israel, Australia, Europe, and Asia. Howard also enjoyed a safari in South Africa, hiking the Grand Canyon, sailing in San Diego, playing golf, and taking long walks. He was a student of history, an avid art collector and reader, and outdoor enthusiast. Howard was well known around the Valley and often recognized in his 1974 Stingray Corvette.
Howard is survived by his wife of 54 years, Brenda (Katcher) Schwartz, their two daughters - Elan Levey (Andrew Levey) and Marni Harp; his sister - Lynda Giles (Conrad Giles) and brother - Melvin Schwartz (Cindy Schwartz); four grandchildren - Jake, Bennett, Shane and Sloane; and a large extended loving family.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made in Howard’s name to Jewish National Fund (480.447.8100 Ext. 987) (JNF.org/donate) or Congregation Or Tzion (480.342.8858) (www.congregationortzion.org/give/donate/).