Silas Michael Schwarz passed away Friday, Sept. 6, 2019. After several years of challenges with seizures while sleeping, Friday morning he did not awaken.
Silas was born May 18, 1999, in Kalispell to John and Molly Schwarz. As a young boy he was experimental and playful in everything, often walking around in the house with ice skates or roller blades, acting, jumping and seeming old because we forgot that he wasn’t the same age as his older brother David. When followed by brothers, Michael and Nelson, he became one of the “four boys” and the busy life that entailed. The boys enjoyed camping at Hungry Horse and Lake Koocanusa and especially their summers on Flathead Lake. In fifth grade with Julie Bonner, he described his “natural high” as water skiing.
Silas attended West Valley School in Kalispell, Bigfork Grade School, Anderson Middle School in Bozeman, Flathead Valley Community College Running Start and graduated from Glacier High School in Kalispell.
In middle school, Silas discovered his love of mathematics. He was not only good with math, but he truly loved to think of mathematics problems, sometimes leaving the rest of us hoping to think about lighter subjects. Saturday morning after Silas left us, John was sure he heard Silas querying him about how much more time John would have now with three boys rather than four.
In high school, Silas participated in pole vault, a continuation of his dreams to jump and fly, and also sang with the Glacier Choir. His challenges with seizures began his sophomore year of high school and many of the things that he would have liked to do became wishes for him.
Over the last year, each night John read to Silas the New Testament, something they both looked forward to and enjoyed together. It will be a lasting memory to John.
This summer in July, Molly and Silas took a 20-day trip to West Virginia where Silas could be in an environment where he flourished, finally feeling much better. His fun experimental, smiley personality re-emerged and they enjoyed a different little adventure each day in that beautiful place. It was a time of great hope, peace and renewal. Those memories are now such a gift.
Silas was awarded the University of Montana Presidential Scholarship in 2017 but was unable to attend due to his health. UM graciously held his scholarship until this fall and Silas, with his newfound energy and spirit, left for college. He was beyond happy to be independent and finally going to college. He called frequently with news about his classes and his excitement about finding interesting funny classes.
Silas joined the Chamber Chorale at UM and called to describe his first day of singing with and hearing all of those beautiful voices around him. He was on top of the world.
It is hard to let go of and understand why Silas had to leave us but in reflecting, we believe that Silas’ life is not about what he did or accomplished but about what he meant to teach us in his short time here.
Truly peace comes from within, and our relationships in life are so important. When we are frustrated with others around us it may be helpful to say, “Well, maybe that person had a rough night last night.” Maybe we can learn to seek out how we are all trying to walk through this life together.
In lieu of flowers, please give your loved ones a hug!
Our thanks to Scout Willcut who was a true friend to Silas.
Silas is survived by his parents, John and Molly; three brothers, David, Michael and Nelson; his grandfather, Nick (and Sarah) Schwarz, of Kalispell; grandmother, Judy Schwarz, of Phoenix; and grandmother, Joan Monaghan, of Kalispell.
A celebration of life service will be held at 4 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 13, at Canvas Church in Kalispell.