Stephanie Schwartz
1947 - 2009

 

 

Stephanie was an extraordinary woman.  Born in Denver in 1947, she graduated from High School with honors, studied at two universities and gained 20 years of experience in hotel management before fibromyalgia and arthritis forced her into early retirement in 1986.  She continued to work as actively as she could with her physical limitations and became an ordained Doctor of Divinity (Universal Life Church) in 1998.

Her connection with Native America literally started with a dream, she told me.  The path she took as well as the personal story behind her involvement is as interesting as it is intriguing.  However, she only shared this information with a select group of individuals and, therefore, I don't share it on this webpage.

Stephanie had writer's blood in her veins and published numerous articles and papers, among them Wambli Ho (Wambli Ho News Archives) from 2001 to 2006.

Among her many other noteworthy stories are:

Stephanie worked tirelessly for the Link Center Foundation when I met her on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation where she was a frequent visitor.  We developed a friendship and communicated by phone and e-mail during the long months of our separation, sometimes several times over the course of a day.  We only saw each other from late July into the first half of August when we met on the Pine Ridge rez.  I enjoyed visiting her at her favorite campsite in the woods on the rez and discussing the problems of the world with her, or marveling at the quality of my wife's egg salad sandwiches.  We always found material for conversation.

My wife and I had breakfast with her and a few others just two weeks before an aneurysm caused her sudden and unexpected death.  We saw no early warning, or any sign of an imminent health problem.  We caught up with what was going on in our lives over coffee, steaks, shredded potatoes and heaps of pancakes, discussed her daughter's planned wedding, and joked around like people do who don't worry about how much, or how little time they have left in each other's company. 

Stephanie is survived and missed by her family, her tiośpaye and the many, many friends she made on and off the reservation. 

    Jeff, September 2009