Fred­er­ick H. Sch­warz

Re­tired McCormick & Co. ex­ec­u­tive trav­eled in search of spices and ad­vo­cated for farm­ers on sev­eral con­ti­nents

Baltimore Sun - - OBITUARIES - By Jac­ques Kelly jac­ques.kelly@balt­

Fred­er­ick H. “Fritz” Sch­warz, a re­tired McCormick & Co. ex­ec­u­tive who trav­eled the globe buy­ing spices, died of a sus­pected heart at­tack Mon­day at his home. The Lo­cust Point res­i­dent was 78. Born in St. Louis, Mo., he was the son of Arthur Sch­warz, who was pres­i­dent of the Nooter Corp., a steel plate fab­ri­ca­tion busi­ness, and He­lene Muetze.

He was an Ea­gle Scout, and earned a bach­e­lor’s de­gree in in­dus­trial en­gi­neer­ing from Pur­due Univer­sity and a mas­ter’s from the Sloan School of Man­age­ment at Mas­sachusetts In­sti­tute of Tech­nol­ogy.

He later earned a doc­tor­ate in eco­nom­ics and in­ter­na­tional busi­ness, which he be­gan at the Univer­sity of Chicago and com­pleted at Saint Louis Univer­sity.

While liv­ing in Chicago as a grad­u­ate stu­dent, he met Kath­leen “Kathy” Bro­gan at St. Chrysos­tom Epis­co­pal Church on a snowy Jan­uary morn­ing.

“We fell in love with each other that morn­ing,” she said. “I re­mem­ber skip­ping home and say­ing to my­self, ‘I have me a man.’ ”

Dr. Sch­warz worked in in­ter­na­tional agri­cul­ture.

“Fritz’s dream was to work in in­ter­na­tional busi­ness devel­op­ment,” said his wife. “He had a love of agri­cul­ture, and while at MIT, he got in­spired to help peo­ple around the world in that field.”

She said he worked for more than 40 years to es­tab­lish joint agri­cul­ture ven­tures in Latin Amer­ica and Asia and ad­vo­cated for farm­ers on sev­eral con­ti­nents.

Af­ter work­ing for a while at Mon­santo, he be­came di­rec­tor for in­ter­na­tional busi­ness devel­op­ment for “pro­tein tech­nolo­gies” for Ralston Pu­rina Co.

In 1987, he moved to Bal­ti­more and served as pres­i­dent of In­ter­na­tional Busi­ness Devel­op­ment Corp. He worked with se­same seed grow­ers to gain crop in­sur­ance from the federal gov­ern­ment.

In 1991, he was named di­rec­tor of ven­dor devel­op­ment for the global sourc­ing team at McCormick & Co. in Hunt Val­ley. He was re­spon­si­ble for seed and cap­sicums, or pep­pers.

“He bought kola nuts from French West Africa. The chief­tains there once gifted him with a robe, a cap and a goat,” his wife said. “He bought cin­na­mon in In­done­sia, pars­ley and basil in Is­rael.”

She said he ful­filled a dream when he found what he con­sid­ered the world’s finest cin­na­mon source. He was also a ma­jor buyer of red pep­pers in In­dia.

“His sup­pli­ers liked him. Fritz had a gra­cious way about him,” said his wife, who is a pro­fes­sor of pe­di­atrics at the Johns Hop­kins School of Medicine.

Dr. Sch­warz later re­tired from McCormick and be­came pres­i­dent of the Amer­i­can Se­same Grow­ers As­so­ci­a­tion.

“My fa­ther was known by ev­ery­one for his in­domitable spirit, bril­liant in­tel­lect and dry sense of hu­mor,” said a son, Axel Sch­warz of San Diego. “He in­stilled in me and in my brother a deep re­spect for na­ture, the value of hard work, the im­por­tance of lis­ten­ing to peo­ple, and how to adapt and over­come life’s ob­sta­cles.”

In his spare time, he en­joyed moun­tain climb­ing, sto­ry­telling and banjo play­ing. Fam­ily mem­bers said he had trav­eled to 90 coun­tries and worked in most of them. They said Ger­many was of spe­cial in­ter­est to him be­cause of his Ger­man an­ces­try. He traced the fam­ily ge­neal­ogy from the 16th cen­tury in Lower Sax­ony.

He also en­joyed spend­ing time with his fam­ily at a cabin they owned in Mis­souri.

He was a for­mer board mem­ber with Epis­co­pal Com­mu­nity Ser­vices of Mary­land. He worked on projects such as Jeri­cho House, a half­way house for ex-of­fend­ers, and at the Caro­line Cen­ter in East Bal­ti­more.

He was also in­volved with The Ark, a preschool for home­less chil­dren on Madi­son Avenue, and vol­un­teered at the Colling­ton Square Boys Club, also in East Bal­ti­more.

Dr. Sch­warz, who lived for many years in Monk­ton and Home­land, was an ac­tive sup­porter of the Elkridge-Hart­ford Hunt Club.

A me­mo­rial ser­vice will be held at 11 a.m. today at First & Franklin Pres­by­te­rian Church, 210 W. Madi­son St.

In ad­di­tion to his son and wife, sur­vivors in­clude an­other son, Kurt Sch­warz of Palo Alto, Calif.; a sis­ter, El­iz­a­beth Sch­warz Meyer of Asheville, N.C.; and three grand­chil­dren. Fred­er­ick Sch­warz was “in­spired to help peo­ple around the world,” his wife said.

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