If you think COVID-19 isn’t real, it just hit our family like a ton of bricks! Dr Stephen Schwartz, passed away yesterday after being hospitalized with the virus. Steven was a larger than life person, with high intellect, a passion for life, candor and integrity in sharing his political views, standing up for what he believed in, and most importantly, having a fierce love and commitment to family, especially his wife, Barbara, and his two children. Steven was the oldest cousin in my family and I was the youngest. We were 22 years apart, a generation! He was already in Seattle by the time I was small, but he really wanted to get to know me. At 14, I spent the summer at his home in Seattle with him and Barbara and their then two toddlers, Havi and Hillel. At that time. It was the farthest I had traveled, and Seattle was a world away from Boston, especially in the late 70s. I had an eye opening and life changing summer, with lots of fun, adventure and exposure to a whole different culture. Since we never lived in the same city, Steven and I lost touch for a while when I grew up, but we continued to reconnect. I was thrilled when he and Barb came to and spent time with us in Chicago for both Jake and Zoe’s bar and bar mitzvahs. I am so honored and grateful that they got to meet him and spend quality time with him. He was a special, kind and thoughtful person who tried to connect and find common ground with everyone, even when he passionately disagreed. He touched so many people and helped many students move on to great success. His loss is big and heavy in our hearts. He will be missed. He is not just one of the 66 who died In Washington from COVID-19 so far. He was my family. He was a human being, and his life was so valuable. Follow social distancing and heed medical warnings. We don’t need more Stephens dying for actions we can control. You can more about his life below. Rest In Peace, Stephen. Our memories of you will always be a blessing.