When the family of the late David Swartz was searching for a location to place a bench in his memory, they couldn’t think of a better spot than Columbus Park. It’s directly opposite Mark’s Deli in Railroad Square, where Swartz had breakfast every morning after attending morning Mass.
The black metal bench, which Swartz’ family and friends paid for, was placed at the perimeter of the little park. It faces the deli where Swartz met up with friends who enjoyed discussing local politics as well as the city’s history.
“He kept them all laughing with his stories,” said his widow, Suzanne Swartz. “David had a story about everything.”
The bench was dedicated on April 2 (Swartz’ birthday) during a ceremony attended by friends and family of Swartz, including Mayor James Fiorentini, Suzanne Swartz and her daughter Robyne and her husband and their two children, as well as David Swartz’ daughters Rebecca Swartz and Cheryl Chalmers and her three children.
Suzanne Swartz said it was her idea to have the bench facing Mark’s Deli.
“David always claimed to me that he didn’t eat, until I caught him there one morning with a big plate of eggs, bacon, toast and hash browns,” Suzanne Swartz said. “I told him I thought you didn’t eat here and he said it was his first time.”
Swartz, 78, died unexpectedly on June 1, 2009 from a sudden heart attack at his home.
A graduate of the former St. James High School in Haverhill, Swartz received a bachelor’s degree from Providence College in 1952 and earned his juris doctorate at Harvard Law School in 1955, having scored a perfect score in the first of Harvard’s entrance exams.
Swartz was known for his intelligence and quick wit. Many sought his counsel on any matter of topics — political, historical or spiritual.