Former Park Board Chair Gerry Schwent Dies At 70

FROM STAFF REPORTS

Longtime Ste. Genevieve Parks and Recreation Board member Gerard “Gerry” Schwent died at his home at age 70, March 3.

Schwent was also a member of National Wild Turkey Federation, a past alderman for Ste. Genevieve and had been president of Ste. Gen. Eagles Club, Knights of Columbus 1037.

He was chairman of the park board for several years, helping see the board through some lean years when money and support was short.

“Gerry was a wealth of information,” long;time park board member Samer Zoughaib said. “He was on the board many years ago, stepped down, and came back.

“His knowledge of connecting how things were and how we should move forward was much appreciated as we have seen many faces come and go on  the park board.”

Schwent stayed on the park board long enough to see it rebound in the last couple of years, with increased interest and additional funding. A master plan for Pere Marquette Park has also been approved.

Gary Roth, who worked considerably with the park board both before and after succeeding the late Dave Pinkley as field operations supervisor for the city in 2017, was also familiar with Schwent’s contributions.

“He was a very dedicated man to the park board,” Roth said.

“Gerry was as reliable as they come, always punctual and extremely complementary,” Zoughaib said. “He gave credit where credit was due.”

Zoughaib also shared how thoughtful Schwent was of others’ feelings.

“He never embarrassed anyone at the meetings, even if they gave wrong info,” Zoughaib said. “He waited till after the meeting and explained to them how what they said was wrong, one-on-one.

“He will be missed, and his knowledge will be missed.”