Former Orangeville CAO of 26 years passes away

August 11, 2022   ·   0 Comments


Rick Schwarzer passed away Aug. 4.

He was 70 years old.

Mr. Schwarzer was chief administrative officer at the Town of Orangeville for about 26 years before his retirement in 2015. He started at town hall in 1990 as the director of planning before he took on the role of CAO in 1995.

Rob Adams, who was Orangeville’s mayor from 1997 until 2000 and again from 2006 to 2014, said Mr. Schwarzer was at the helm during many major developments in town.

“He used his planning experience to lead the municipality through the fastest period of growth in Orangeville’s history,” Adams said.

That municipal growth included major west end developments both residential and commercial and the construction of the Alder Street Recreation Centre.

“It was a pleasure to work closely with Rick over the years as I always appreciated his insight and knowledge as CAO,” Adams said. “Rick was a true community builder, serving his friends and neighbours in the noble profession of public service.”

According to a press release issued by the Town of Orangeville, Mr. Schwarzer was a supportive leader who guided staff and administration through a period of rapid growth, which helped transform Orangeville into the vibrant community it is today. He helped attract new businesses to Orangeville which led to the expansion of the Centennial Road industrial park and the revitalization of downtown

“Having worked for Rick for over 25 years, he was well respected, well liked, and was a pleasure to work for,” said Deputy Mayor Andy Macintosh.

Former colleagues of Mr. Schwarzer’s have taken to leaving messages on the Forest Lawn Funeral Home’s website condolence page.

George Dick, the former president at Orangeville Hydro, said Mr. Schwarzer had many great qualities, and high among them were his trustworthiness and forthrightness.

“He was one of my colleagues and friends who you could count on for support, especially when the chips were down,” Dick said. “I enjoyed Rick’s kind, mellow manner.”

Councillor Debbie Sherwood worked with Mr. Schwarzer for more than 20 years at Town Hall.

“He was a very gentle kind soul and he will be forever in my thoughts as a great person to work for.”

Sheila Duncan, Orangeville’s former manager of communications, characterized Mr. Schwarzer as having been smart, witty, and caring.

“Rick was well known and respected during his time as the planner and then the chief administrative officer for the Town of Orangeville. He made many friends here.”

A memorial service will be held at Forest Lawn Funeral Home at 1997 Dundas Street East in London, Ont. on Aug. 13 at 1 p.m. A lunch will follow before a private interment. Anyone who wishes to share stories and memories are welcome to do so. 

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