Irving (Irv) Schwartzbach, 92, of Pinehurst, North Carolina passed peacefully, after a short illness, at the FirstHealth Hospice House on Thursday, April 2nd.

He was a devoted, husband, father and grandfather and dedicated his life to being an educator and advocate for young people.

Born in Elizabeth, NJ, on February 13th, 1928. He was the son of the late David and Martha (Turner) Schwartzbach. He graduated from Thomas Jefferson High School in 1945 and enlisted in the Army where he served for 2 years, including service in Japan. Upon his return he attended Montclair State Teachers College, graduating Summa Cum Laude and went on to get his Masters Degree at Columbia University. While in school at Montclair, he met and married Selma Nadler on December 28, 1952.

Irving was predeceased by his wife of 65 years in December 2017. He is survived by their daughter Caryl (Carol Jane) Schwartzbach and her husband Alan Bolzan, of Chapel Hill, grandchildren Zachary and Lauren Bolzan, and sister Fay Groves of New Port Ritchie, Florida.

Irving had a lifelong career in education, combining his passion for education and advocacy for young people, as a teacher, with his specific expertise in social studies and history, in Irvington, New Jersey. While his knowledge of social studies and history were his teaching expertise, his personal gift was his ability to identify the unique talents of his students, and find ways to help them see these gifts for themselves. He devoutly believed in human civil liberties and was proud of his ability to stand for what he believed was right, not just for him, but for the world and especially for his students. Emboldened by his experience in the 1950s with McCarthyism, he took on the challenges in the 1960s supporting expanded higher educational opportunities for minority students. He always believed that the foundation to a better future was through education. Following his beliefs, this experience took him away from all that he new in New Jersey (a self-proclaimed ‘Jersey Boy’) and moved him to Connecticut, where he ultimately became a fixture in the education system in the small town of Canton for the next 22 years. He worked with, taught and cared for hundreds of ‘kids’ and their families. At his retirement, the following message was sent to him, was one that he treasured, and best summarized the value of his contribution to the lives of so many: “The monuments educators leave behind to commemorate their influence are the people they teach. For those of us who have been changed, who valued your guidance, caring and love, we hope we have given you in kind.”

Irving and Selma retired to North Carolina to be closer to their daughter and her family. During retirement, Irving enjoyed playing golf and travelling with Selma on their self-guided adventures around the world.

In memoriam, people are encouraged to make donations to the Sandhills Food Bank: 195 Sandy Ave. in Southern Pines, NC 28387, the American Civil Liberties Union (, or the Parkinsons Research Foundation (

A private ceremony will be held on Sunday April 5th with a gathering of family and friends for the unveiling at a later date, in respect for the current “Shelter in Place” restrictions.

Online condolences may be made at

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