Thursday, December 31, 2009
DS STAR PASSES
Herman C. Schwenk Jr., 81 AKA Michael Currie FREEPORT -- Herman Christian Schwenk, of Freeport, died in his home and surrounded by his loving family on Tuesday, Dec. 22, 2009. He was 81. Born in Kingston, N.Y., July 24, 1928, to Herman C. Schwenk and Mabel Lockwood, he was the youngest of three children. Herm graduated from Kingston High School where he sang in the acappella choir and played football. During summers and weekends he worked in his family's business, Schwenk's Bakery. Herm graduated from St. Lawrence University with a degree in Psychology, was an apprentice at the Woodstock Playhouse and did graduate work at Cornell University and the University of Ohio. When he was called up for service and could have deferred due to graduate studies, he instead opened the Bible and his finger landed on 'do not tarry.' He served two years in Okinawa during the Korean War. On his return, he taught theater at SUNY New Paltz. In 1960, he met Ann Dods, whom he fondly called 'Annie,' on a blind date at the Museum of Modern Art and they married a short time later. After a number of years in New York City and the birth of their daughter Catherine, they moved to Freeport, and were joined three years later by their son, John. He enjoyed a successful career as a character actor for stage, television and screen, appearing on Broadway in Love and Kisses, off-Broadway in The Premise, What Price Glory, and others. His movie appearances include Philidelphia Experiment, Sudden Impact, Firefox, and others. He appeared and often co-starred in numerous television shows including Dark Shadows, Soap, and Cheers. When not on location, he enjoyed communing with nature, baking bread and birthday cakes, writing and gathering with his family and friends. He introduced Maine to the Katahdin Guru while doing freelance writing for the Maine Times. He was a talented writer, singer, actor, story teller and friend. His wit, humor and quiet approach were reflected in every part of his life, including his relationships. A gregarious and friendly man, he touched many with his wit and gentle approach. In addition to his wife of 49 years, Ann; he is survived by his daughter, Catherine and her husband James Gray, his son, John and his wife Martha Putnam; his cherished granddaughter, Hannah Schwenk-Sandau, all of Freeport; his sister Marion Hyatt; cousins, Eileen Schwenk and Virginia Lancer of Kingston, N.Y.; and many nieces and nephews. He will be missed deeply by his adoring family and a large constellation of good friends. Join the family in remembering Herm on during an open house gathering on Friday, Jan. 1, between 1 and 4 p.m. at their home in Freeport. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Actors Equity Fund. Herman C. Schwenk Jr.