North Bay Firestorm: Marnie Schwartz died when fire raced through her Coffey Park home


SANTA ROSA (KRON) — For weeks, KRON4 has been putting a face and a story to those who lost their lives in the North Bay Firestorm.

On Tuesday night, KRON4 is telling you about Marnie Schwartz, who died when fire raced through her Coffey Park home.

“I do miss her and, I do miss hearing her voice, and I miss hearing her calling and saying, ‘Hi sweetie,'” friend Denise Harrison said.

Schwartz was one of those who perished when fire consumed Coffey Park.

“It was very tough,” Harrison said. “In fact, it was shocking.”

Harrison met Schwartz when she was a teenager, but their friendship continued when Harrison got a job at the synagogue where Schwartz served as president.

“She got in deep with the running of the synagogue,” Harrison said.

“Marnie cared about social justice and Judaism,” Congregation Shomrei Torah Rabbi George Gittleman added. “Tikkun Olam was a way she organized her Jewish life, so that’s another area. The text or Jewish tradition was an opportunity, was a way to be inspired to do good in the world and make the world a better place, and her voice was heard there as well.”

Gittleman is the senior rabbi at Congregation Shomrei Torah.

He says Schwartz had family back east but lived alone and but was very engaged.

“She was pretty outgoing and articulate, well educated,” Gittleman said. “Marnie taught English as a second language and had a couple of masters degrees.”

“She was funny. She was smart, very very intelligent,” Harrison added. “She loved to laugh. She loved her dog, but she was a great person, a fun person to know. Very kind and very generous.”

Schwartz had been a member of the congregation since 1980.

A memorial service was held for her there last month.

She was 68.



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