Carl Schwarz – June 10, 1936-July 25, 2016

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Carl Schwarz
Carl Schwarz

Carl Schwarz, long time Laguna Beach Unified School District board member, University Professor and community advocate passed away peacefully  surrounded by his children on Monday, July 25. He had just celebrated his 80th birthday the previous month. The community knew him as a father figure, a mentor and a friend advocating for causes such as Save Laguna Canyon, LagunAquatics and the Cross Cultural Committee. Originally from Fresno, California, Carl attended UC Berkley and UC Santa Barbara earning his Master’s Degree and PhD in Political Science. Honorably discharged from the US Army Reserves with the rank of Captain, he quickly transitioned into what would be his lifelong passion for teaching, and in the early 70s settled in Laguna Beach. Carl was a professor of Political Science at Fullerton College from 1962-1999 and served as Department Chair from 1994-1999. He began teaching at UC Irvine in 1989 until as recently as last spring of 2016. He also held teaching positions at California State University, Fullerton, UC San Diego and UC Santa Barbara. He was passionate about the Latino community and being bilingual, taught at the University of Mexico as a visiting professor and earned the Profesor Distinguido award. Carl served as an elected trustee to the Laguna Beach Unified School District for three terms from 1981-1994, serving two of those terms as President. A long distance ocean swimmer and beach lover, he was often seen swimming along the coast from Anita Street to Main Beach or playing Frisbee with his family. His recent years were spent gallivanting between his children’s homes. He was a permanent fixture at his daughter Lisa’s for Saturday dinners, Monday Night Football was spent at his daughter Diana’s and monthly excursions to Palos Verdes to visit with his daughter Linda. He enjoyed visiting his son Steve in San Diego and meeting up with Eric at Woods Cove. He loved getting his two grandsons Mason and Stefen together at the beach for some “boy time,” and bouncing his grandchildren, Harper and Preston on his lap. He was a constant encouragement to his granddaughter Sophia who has Cerebral Palsy, and was her biggest supporter in helping her to achieve milestones that were never thought possible for her. He is survived by his six children, Lisa, Steve, Eric, Linda, Diana and Alex, six grandchildren, Mason, Sophia, Stefen, Harper, Preston, and granddaughter-to-be, due any day, and former spouses Jeanie Ranney and Maria Teresa. The local community is encouraged to join in the celebration of his life to be held on Saturday, August 20 at 10 a.m. at Laguna Presbyterian Church, 415 Forest Avenue, Laguna Beach. In lieu of flowers, please donate to help Carl’s granddaughter Sophia who has Cerebral Palsy at:



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  1. Carl was a big part of growing up at Wood’s Cove, and for that matter, living many years thereafter in Laguna Beach. Always upbeat and kind, he was personable like so few are today where time is money and stuff is more important than friendship. And what energy he had! Talk about indefatagible. Jim Henderson taught with him at Fullerton and is the one who introduced him to me and many others. Carl’s enthusiasm and positivity will be very much missed.


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