Hermann Casper Schwab, known as “Gus,” died peacefully in his Manhattan apartment on April 1, 2013. He had previously also had a home in Oyster Bay, Long Island.
Born on January 8, 1920, he was a son of Hermann C. Schwab and Ruth Bliss Bleecker, and stepson of Rev. Lyman C. Bleecker. Mr. Schwab graduated from St. Mark’s School in 1937 and Yale College in 1941, and served in France during World War II as a second lieutenant. After the war he became a nationally ranked doubles squash player, playing until 1969 with John Humes (who was the New York State squash champion in 1951).
Hermann C Schwab
Mr. Schwab served in several positions at Hanover Bank and then Empire Trust Company from 1946 to 1967. In 1967 he joined the Schroder Trust Company, later becoming an officer and director of Schroder Capital Management and Schroder Capital Funds, and of various Schroder mutual funds. At his retirement from Schroder in 1998 he was named Director Emeritus. Mr. Schwab served as mayor of the Village of Oyster Bay Cove from 1973 to 1985, and as Village trustee from 1965 to 1998. He was a trustee of St. Luke’s Hospital from 1969 to 1999, as well as treasurer for several years, and oversaw (with many others) its successful merger with Roosevelt Hospital in 1979. For his work at St. Luke’s Hospital, he was honored with an appointment as a Knight of the Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem.
Mr. Schwab also served as trustee of Newstead Farm in Upperville, VA, from 1974 until its dispersal sale in 1985. Newstead Farm was a thoroughbred horse breeding farm which sold its horses at the Saratoga and Keeneland auctions and raced its fillies under the tutelage of legendary trainer Woody Stephens. During his tenure, Newstead successfully raced fillies Kittiwake and Lareda, as well as Miss Oceana, who ran in the Breeders Cup after winning six Grade 1 stakes in two years, finishing as runner-up for both American Champion Two-Year-Old Filly and Three-Year-Old Filly in 1983 and 1984.
An avid sailor, he participated in the Newport to Bermuda race 12 times, and the New York Yacht Club Cruise 21 times. He traveled widely with his wife, Meteer, both for work and for pleasure. Mr. Schwab will be remembered for his self-deprecating sense of humor. An avowed Anglophile, he charmed many with stories of his frequent visits to the United Kingdom and his many friends there. A connoisseur of red Bordeaux wine and a home-schooled chef who loved giving dinner parties with Meteer, he shared his favorites liberally with many friends. He was well known for the New Year’s Day party he held annually with Meteer at his home in Oyster Bay Cove for more than 45 years, featuring homemade milk punch. Mr. Schwab was also a lifelong lover of Italian opera, and later in life grew orchids as a hobby. He had been a longtime member of the Seawanhaka Corinthian Yacht Club and Piping Rock Club, the Mill Reef Club in Antigua and the Jester’s Club in England; and at his death he was a member of the Knickerbocker Club.
Mr. Schwab is survived by his wife of 58 years, the former C. Meteer Shanks; his sister Mrs. Anne B. Corcos (Taylor—Anne L. Bleecker) of Berkeley, CA, and New York; his children (from his previous marriage of 12 years to Lesley Ripley), Henry Schwab, Mrs. Edward J. Forman (Lesley B. Schwab) of Locust Valley, NY, and Mrs. Arthur D. Weekes 3d (Constantine—Margery B. Schwab) of Hamilton, MA; and his children George B. Schwab of Brooklyn, NY, and Mrs. Adam O. Kimmick (Katharine L. Schwab) of East Norwich, NY; as well as 13 grandchildren, four great-grandchildren, and numerous nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his son Stuart Schwab, his sisters Mary Pool Brett and Ruth Schwab Galpin, and his brother, Walter P. B. Schwab.