Husband, Brother, In-Law, Friend, Musician, Teacher, Athlete, Traveler, Fun Seeker.
We lost a man of great compassion and love for life on Sunday, February 16th. Steven Joseph Schwab was born on April 25, 1953 in Moscow, Idaho to John and Patricia Schwab, who were both native Montanans. The family moved to Portland, Oregon when Steve was in third grade. He returned to Montana in 1977 and finished his education with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Education at the University of Montana.
Steve was a teacher all his adult life. He started by volunteering to teach English to Vietnamese refugees in Portland. He retired from teaching Spanish and coaching track & field at Bozeman High School. Students clamored to get into Señor Schwab’s classes every year because of the easygoing and comfortable atmosphere he created. Under his leadership the boys’ and girls’ track & field teams became a force to be reckoned with. During his long tenure as head coach of the Hawks, the boys’ and girls’ squads won many district titles and the girls were state champions in 2001, 2003, 2004 and 2007. Steve received Coach of the Year honors for each of those years.
Steve loved to travel and always tried to pick up elements of the local language wherever his feet led him. Before settling into Montana, he visited Greece, Germany, Sudan, Egypt, Guatemala, and Ecuador, among others. One of his favorite stories was about wearing a keffiyeh on his head and riding for days on the top of a truck up a road along the Nile River. Of course, he picked up a few phrases in Arabic. Later, he and Susan traveled extensively in Latin America, often chaperoning groups of students from Bozeman High and Headwaters Academy into some very remote villages.
He loved music and made joyful noise his entire life. He played the guitar from an early age and composed and sang dozens of excellent songs. Steve and his brother, Dave, played around Bozeman in the late 1970s as Headwaters. He and his longtime collaborator, Steve Reida, formed Steve Squared almost twenty years ago, recorded two albums of original music, and performed frequently in Bozeman. One of their last gigs was at the S.L.A.M. Festival in August.
Steve is survived by his wife, Susan, and by his siblings, Jack (Katie), David (Diana), Barbara (Clint) Benson, Michael (Carolyn), and Molly (Frank) Fricano, and a dozen loving nieces and nephews. He is also survived by his dearest friends and in-laws, Danelle Fogarty and Cary Gubler.
A Celebration of Life will be held Saturday, February 29th, 11:00 am at Dahl Funeral & Cremation Service Tribute Center.