Eugene Edward Schweiss, 87, a resident of Laurel, MD, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, January 1, 2020, at Brighton Gardens Assisted Living in Columbia, MD surrounded by family members. He was a loving and loyal son, husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather.
Gene was born on December 27, 1932 in St. Louis, Missouri to the late Irma and Arthur Schweiss. Mechanically inclined, Gene completed high school, specializing in construction trades. At the age of 19, he enlisted in the Air Force. He served overseas in the Korean War, arming airplanes. Gene loaded munitions on swept-wing F-84 Thunderjets and F-86 Sabrejets, which were used in some of the first jet-to-jet battles in history. After leaving Korea, he was stationed at Sandia Base, New Mexico, teaching others to arm and disarm bombs. He earned a National Defense Service Medal, Good Conduct Medal, Korean Service Medal and United Nations Service Medal. After his military service, Gene studied drafting, then earned a professional certificate as an Architectural Hardware Consultant.
On September 1,1956, Gene married his eternal sweetheart, Corinne. The pair adored each other over 63 years of marriage. They raised five children, starting their family in St. Louis, then moving to College Park, Maryland in the early 70’s, where Gene initially worked as a salesman for a door and lock hardware manufacturer.Then, Gene went on to W.T. Weaver & Sons in Georgetown, D.C., working as an architectural hardware salesman for over four decades. He was responsible for coordinating thousands of builders' hardware items to ensure that door openings were in compliance with fire, life safety, accessibility and building code requirements. Some of the projects he worked on during his career include the Key Bridge Marriott, National Institutes of Health, multiple Clyde’s Restaurants, the former Capital Center, Verizon Center, and multiple hospitals, government offices and businesses.
Like his father and older brother who were professional carpenters, Gene enjoyed woodworking. His hobby required a fully-equipped woodshop, where he spent his free time cutting, assembling, and treating step stools, benches, storage carts and cabinets for family and friends. His creative carpentry passion led to the development of numerous keepsakes for his family. He made rocking horses for all of his grandchildren and some of his great-grandchildren. He even shipped a rocking horse across the country for his great-granddaughter, Addison. These beautiful works of art, along with his other creations, can be found in the homes of every member in his family.
As devout Catholics, Gene & Corinne attended services at Holy Redeemer in College Park, St. Mark the Evangelist in Hyattsville, where he served as an usher, and later at St. Mary of the Mills in Laurel, MD. Service to the Church and his community were very important to Gene. Described as kind and giving, he volunteered with several organizations and his community service spanned more than 50 years. In his younger years, Gene was a member of the Jaycees in Mt. Vernon, Illinois, serving as the project maintenance chairman for the Santa Claus Lane Committee. In Prince George’s County, Maryland, he was a 3 rd Degree Knight and Honorary Life member of the Knights of Columbus, Council No. 2809. Gene served as president of the Knights of Columbus Credit Union for more than 20 years. In addition, he supported other Knights of Columbus committees and activities, including bingo and youth events. With an infectious smile and great sense of humor, Gene shared laughter with everyone he met, but he spread joy to many more through the “Knights of the Clown Table”. As part of this group, Gene performed as a clown making balloon figures much to the delight of disabled and sick children in the hospital and at Great Oaks. In addition, he walked with the troupe in local parades in the Metropolitan area distributing candy. Gene also volunteered with Boy Scout Troop 740 for more than 25 years, serving as the troop’s Committee Chairman and then holding a District position, long after his boys aged out of scouts. Even in retirement Gene kept busy, lending his time during the winter for several years with the Orange Blossom Regional Rifle Matches in Palm Bay, Florida.
Gene delighted in spending time with his family. He especially enjoyed the warm weather and hosting barbecues. He loved to cook food on the grill for everyone while having a cold beer. Although the weather wasn’t ideal, Gene served for years as the grill master for Art & Marnette’s bonfire parties held in early December. Bundled up in his coveralls, he cooked up hamburgers & hotdogs with a smile, feeding a crowd of about 100 people each year. Gene and Corinne shared a love of travel and the outdoors, making countless camping trips with their children in their Winnebago RV. In retirement, they enjoyed taking cruises, camping trips with their RV clubs, and driving their RV south to Florida for the winter. The pair traveled to nearly every state in the country.
He was predeceased by his wife, Corinne; daughter, Mary Ann; great-granddaughter, Scarlett Gray Schweiss; sisters: Alice Angeles and Patricia Jones; and brother, Arthur Schweiss. He is survived by his sister, Carole “Rose” Lamprecht (Jerry); sisters-in-law: Helena Schweiss and Mary Klotz (James); children: Theresa Sutherland (Brad), Robert Schweiss (Nancy), Arthur Schweiss (Marnette), Anthony Schweiss (Linda), and Thomas Schweiss (Hong Manasilp); grandchildren: Anthony “T.J.” Schweiss (Michelle), Brooke Schweiss, Matthew Schweiss, Lilly Schweiss, Elliot Schweiss, Cora Schweiss and Grant Schweiss; great-grandchildren: Savanna Cutler, Addison Schweiss, Titus Cutler and Winona Schweiss; as well as a host of other nieces, nephews and relatives.
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