Mower County man honors late wife, relatives and friends by help - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Mower County man honors late wife, relatives and friends by helping Kansas fire victims

Posted:
David Schwartz David Schwartz
Schwartz's late wife, Mary, holding their granddaughter Schwartz's late wife, Mary, holding their granddaughter
Schwartz stands in front of his truck with relatives and friends (Courtesy: David Schwartz) Schwartz stands in front of his truck with relatives and friends (Courtesy: David Schwartz)
The fleet of trucks hauling the hay to Kansas (Courtesy: David Schwartz) The fleet of trucks hauling the hay to Kansas (Courtesy: David Schwartz)
Courtesy: VS Family Farms, LLC Courtesy: VS Family Farms, LLC
NEAR ROSE CREEK, Minn. (KTTC) -

He did it for his late wife, and for numerous family members and friends who have recently passed.

A Mower County man hauled bales of hay from his farm all the way to Kansas -- to help victims of wildfires. And it was the memories of those he lost that inspired him.

David Schwartz, who lives near Rose Creek, said his wife, Mary, passed away from ovarian cancer on Feb. 23, 2017. She was 56 years old. 

In addition, Schwartz has lost eight other relatives and friends since 2015. They include:

  • Karen (Hummel) Christiansen, 52, who passed away in April 2016. Christiansen was the sister of Schwartz's late wife, Mary.
  • Ryan Holdgrapher, 27, who died in a farming accident in November 2015. Holdgrapher was the father of Schwartz's granddaughter.
  • Todd Grosland, 51, who passed away in March 2016. Grosland was the cousin of Schwartz's father.
  • Michael Langan, 58, who died in a house fire in Austin in February 2017.
  • Helayma Ly Nguyen, 19, Jordan Jensen, 20, Mark Meany, 54, and Roger Mullenbach, 58.

"I think about all the nine people deceased quite often," Schwartz said.

But instead of being consumed by heartache, David chose to lend a helping hand.

"Watching the news, I started hearing about the [wild]fires in Kansas," said Schwartz. 

So Schwartz joined other farmers from southeastern Minnesota to haul more than 350 bales of hay to Kansas. The hay would go to farmers whose lands were devastated by the fires. The group brought their tractor-trailers to Austin and departed on the morning of April 3.

"I did the hay haul in memory of my wife and the other eight people also," Schwartz said.

Schwartz personally hauled 41 tons of his own hay to Beeler, Kan. And along the nearly 700-mile trip, many people showed him support.

"From truck stops giving us coffee and little candy -- a small gas station did in Kansas also. A stranger gave me a $100 bill when I unloaded the hay in Beeler," Schwartz recalled.

Schwartz's hay went to five families affected by the wildfires.

"They had lost about 30 to 40,000 acres," Schwartz recalled. "Four of those farmers lost their homes."

Schwartz has since returned to his farm near Rose Creek. As he continues to recover from the loss of his wife, family members and friends, he takes comfort in helping the Kansas fire victims recover too.

"[Mary] would be happy that I was able to help some people in need because Mary was generous with people also," Schwartz said. "I miss Mary's companionship and help on the farm. And most of all, Mary loved her family."

  • Mobile Top StoriesMore>>

  • Man threatened with a gun in SE Rochester

    Man threatened with a gun in SE Rochester

    Rochester police are hunting for a group of men who allegedly threatened a man last night near Slatterly Park. The victim told police he was visiting at a home in the 900 block of 10 1/2 Street Southeast about 9:20 p.m. Wednesday, and as he walked out to his car to leave, a group of men approached.  He said one of them pointed a gun at him and threatened to "spray him up."  T

    More >>

    Rochester police are hunting for a group of men who allegedly threatened a man last night near Slatterly Park. The victim told police he was visiting at a home in the 900 block of 10 1/2 Street Southeast about 9:20 p.m. Wednesday, and as he walked out to his car to leave, a group of men approached.  He said one of them pointed a gun at him and threatened to "spray him up."  T

    More >>
  • Rochester police arrest "peeper" suspect roaming neighborhood at 4 a.m.

    Rochester police arrest "peeper" suspect roaming neighborhood at 4 a.m.

    Rochester police have arrested a man suspected of sneaking around city neighborhoods peeping into windows.  An officer confronted a man in the 1400 Block of 10th Avenue Southeast at 4 a.m. Wednesday and seized his red cell phone, flashlight and a vibrator. Police later arrested Rickford Munger, 61, who has a long criminal history of such activity.

    More >>

    Rochester police have arrested a man suspected of sneaking around city neighborhoods peeping into windows.  An officer confronted a man in the 1400 Block of 10th Avenue Southeast at 4 a.m. Wednesday and seized his red cell phone, flashlight and a vibrator. Police later arrested Rickford Munger, 61, who has a long criminal history of such activity.

    More >>
  • Patty Wetterling thanks law enforcement while speaking in Rochester

    Patty Wetterling thanks law enforcement while speaking in Rochester

    Even before the remains of her son were discovered in Central Minnesota last year, Patty Wetterling spent years as an advocate for children's safety.  She brought her message of hope to Rochester Thursday morning, speaking at a conference sponsored by the Minnesota Sheriff's Association.  

    More >>

    Even before the remains of her son were discovered in Central Minnesota last year, Patty Wetterling spent years as an advocate for children's safety.  She brought her message of hope to Rochester Thursday morning, speaking at a conference sponsored by the Minnesota Sheriff's Association.  

    More >>
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Semi driver falls asleep at the wheel on I-90; his load of Mike's Hard Lemonade is dumped into the median

    Semi driver falls asleep at the wheel on I-90; his load of Mike's Hard Lemonade is dumped into the median

    An early morning crash on I-90 slowed the morning commute and left a load of alcoholic beverages in the median of the interstate. The crash happened at mile marker 213, about a mile east of Stewartville. It shut down one westbound lane.  Our crew on the scene learned the driver fell asleep at the wheel around 5 am. His rig rolled into the median. His semi's contents, bottles of Mike's Hard Lemonade, spilled into the median. The driver needed to be extricated fro...

    More >>

    An early morning crash on I-90 slowed the morning commute and left a load of alcoholic beverages in the median of the interstate. The crash happened at mile marker 213, about a mile east of Stewartville. It shut down one westbound lane.  Our crew on the scene learned the driver fell asleep at the wheel around 5 am. His rig rolled into the median. His semi's contents, bottles of Mike's Hard Lemonade, spilled into the median. The driver needed to be extricated fro...

    More >>
  • Rochester police arrest "peeper" suspect roaming neighborhood at 4 a.m.

    Rochester police arrest "peeper" suspect roaming neighborhood at 4 a.m.

    Rochester police have arrested a man suspected of sneaking around city neighborhoods peeping into windows.  An officer confronted a man in the 1400 Block of 10th Avenue Southeast at 4 a.m. Wednesday and seized his red cell phone, flashlight and a vibrator. Police later arrested Rickford Munger, 61, who has a long criminal history of such activity.

    More >>

    Rochester police have arrested a man suspected of sneaking around city neighborhoods peeping into windows.  An officer confronted a man in the 1400 Block of 10th Avenue Southeast at 4 a.m. Wednesday and seized his red cell phone, flashlight and a vibrator. Police later arrested Rickford Munger, 61, who has a long criminal history of such activity.

    More >>
  • New study finds major child care shortage in Olmsted County

    New study finds major child care shortage in Olmsted County

    A new study shows Olmsted County is short on child care providers and many facilities are maxed out. This shortage has a lot of repercussions in the community. According to the study, which was commissioned by Families First of Minnesota and United Way of Olmsted County, Olmsted County is short 1,855 child care slots of the expected need. What's more is that child care centers are full to the brim, leaving many families on waiting lists. First Children's Finance conducted a supply...

    More >>

    A new study shows Olmsted County is short on child care providers and many facilities are maxed out. This shortage has a lot of repercussions in the community. According to the study, which was commissioned by Families First of Minnesota and United Way of Olmsted County, Olmsted County is short 1,855 child care slots of the expected need. What's more is that child care centers are full to the brim, leaving many families on waiting lists. First Children's Finance conducted a supply...

    More >>
  • A garbage truck and an SUV collide near Austin

    A garbage truck and an SUV collide near Austin

    Apparently one of the vehicles blew through a stop sign. The garbage truck was upside down and the SUV crashed into and stopped at a tree. It happened at the intersection of 290th street and Mower Freeborn Road. Crews were working Wednesday morning to tow the cars. There is no word yet on how many were involved or injured, but on the way to crash site there were two Gold Cross ambulances leaving the scene. The air bags on the side of SUV did deploy.

    More >>

    Apparently one of the vehicles blew through a stop sign. The garbage truck was upside down and the SUV crashed into and stopped at a tree. It happened at the intersection of 290th street and Mower Freeborn Road. Crews were working Wednesday morning to tow the cars. There is no word yet on how many were involved or injured, but on the way to crash site there were two Gold Cross ambulances leaving the scene. The air bags on the side of SUV did deploy.

    More >>
  • Teen assaulted in Rochester home invasion

    Teen assaulted in Rochester home invasion

    A Rochester teen suffered head injuries after a group of men broke into his home on the 800 block of 21st Avenue SE. Police say the invasion happened at 12:30 Wednesday morning three males, 19, 20, 20 heard a loud banging on the door at the Quarters Apartments. 

    More >>

    A Rochester teen suffered head injuries after a group of men broke into his home on the 800 block of 21st Avenue SE. Police say the invasion happened at 12:30 Wednesday morning three males, 19, 20, 20 heard a loud banging on the door at the Quarters Apartments. 

    More >>
  • Austin massage parlor closed and arrest made in prostitution sting

    Austin massage parlor closed and arrest made in prostitution sting

    An Austin woman is taken into custody and a business is shut down after a prostitution bust at a massage parlor. Austin Police Captain David McKichan says the undercover operation was carried out at Serenity Asian Massage at 1002 West Oakland Avenue. The operation was carried out around 10:30 Monday morning by the SE Minnesota Violent Crimes Enforcement Team with the help of Austin Police and Rochester Police. 61-year-old Zhixian Zhang was arrested on a gross misdemeanor prostituti...More >>
    An Austin woman is taken into custody and a business is shut down after a prostitution bust at a massage parlor. Austin Police Captain David McKichan says the undercover operation was carried out at Serenity Asian Massage at 1002 West Oakland Avenue. The operation was carried out around 10:30 Monday morning by the SE Minnesota Violent Crimes Enforcement Team with the help of Austin Police and Rochester Police. 61-year-old Zhixian Zhang was arrested on a gross misdemeanor prostituti...More >>
  • Man threatened with a gun in SE Rochester

    Man threatened with a gun in SE Rochester

    Rochester police are hunting for a group of men who allegedly threatened a man last night near Slatterly Park. The victim told police he was visiting at a home in the 900 block of 10 1/2 Street Southeast about 9:20 p.m. Wednesday, and as he walked out to his car to leave, a group of men approached.  He said one of them pointed a gun at him and threatened to "spray him up."  T

    More >>

    Rochester police are hunting for a group of men who allegedly threatened a man last night near Slatterly Park. The victim told police he was visiting at a home in the 900 block of 10 1/2 Street Southeast about 9:20 p.m. Wednesday, and as he walked out to his car to leave, a group of men approached.  He said one of them pointed a gun at him and threatened to "spray him up."  T

    More >>
  • Police say stranger scare at Badger Ridge Park was case of "mistaken identity"

    Police say stranger scare at Badger Ridge Park was case of "mistaken identity"

    Rochester police said Tuesday afternoon that a potential stranger scare near Badger Ridge Park was likely an innocent mistake.

    More >>

    Rochester police said Tuesday afternoon that a potential stranger scare near Badger Ridge Park was likely an innocent mistake.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly