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Obituaries

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Leah Muriel Schwartz

Leah Muriel Schwartz, artist, of Strawberry, California, died peacefully on January 16th, 2017. Leah was married to Dr. Herman Schwartz and had resided in Strawberry since 1958.

Leah Schwartz was a well-known artist whose work was published in a series of internationally distributed posters in the 1980s by Portal Art Gallery. In 1987, she was one of the first recipients of the Mill Valley "Milley" award for her contribution to the arts.

Leah wrote in her autobiography that she knew, from her early days, that she was an artist. "Drawing and painting were an integral part of my life," she said. Leah helped put her husband through Harvard Medical School by working as an illustrator for department stores in Boston.

From an unconventional early life in Roosevelt, New Jersey, living in a Jewish commune during the Depression, her parents moved west to make a better life for themselves. As a young woman, Leah moved back east again to pursue her art and studied under the great American painter Ben Shahn.

Leah's work spanned decades, styles, and mediums. She taught painting on trips abroad, which led to the remarkable "On the Road" series that is illustrated in her book, "Leah Schwartz," published by the Strawberry press. She was a deeply private person and retreated to a life with close friends and family after Herman's passing almost nine years ago.

She is survived by her sons, Dan Drasin of Greenbrae, Peter Schwartz of Rohnert Park, and David Schwartz of Strawberry. She is also survived by her sister-in-law, Helen Fellenbaum; daughters-in-law Martha and Isis; and grandchildren Angie, Anna, Jesse, Christopher, Leah, Anthony, and Julia.

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