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William J Schwalm

August 7, 1938 ~ December 29, 2019 (age 81)


age 81, of Natick, formerly of North Chatham, died peacefully on December 29, 2019, following a long illness.

Born in Flushing, New York on August 7, 1938, he was the son of the late Walter and Katherine (Cunningham) Schwalm.  He is survived by his wife, Karen (Kuhl) Schwalm of Natick, formerly of North Chatham.  Devoted father of Greg Schwalm and family of Avon, CT, Paul Schwalm of San Diego, CA and Peter Schwalm and family of Northborough, MA; loving stepfather of Alyssa Crockett of Natick, and granddaughter, Abigail.  He is also survived by three siblings: Doris Obremski, Mary Warner, and Rich Schwalm. He was predeceased by his first wife, Sandra (Wilson) Schwalm of Wayland. 

Mr. Schwalm graduated with honors from Rutgers University in 1960 and then received his Masters in Engineering from Northeastern University, while teaching part time.  After a few years at Armstrong Industries, he worked at Polaroid from 1966 until retiring in 1998.  Over the years he held various positions, including Senior Manager in manufacturing, environmental programs, and information technology.  While a plant manager, he took pride in bringing new products on line.  He especially enjoyed his environmental role, overseeing major facility improvements and joining with various community groups to foster environmental protection from corporate, community, and individual positions.

Mr. Schwalm served as a member of the Waltham Chamber of Commerce, chair of  Polaroid’s United Way drive, chair of Avon’s Personnel Board, and as docent for the Marblehead Historical Society and the Peabody Essex Museum.  After retiring to Chatham in 2002, he joined the Newcomers’ Club and Monomoy Yacht Club. He served as president of the Lighthouse Investment Club and was a member of  the First Congregational Church, where he served as head deacon for several years.

He loved travel, tennis, sailing, music, golf and especially his family.  He visited every continent, except the poles, and enjoyed sharing travel stories with others. 

A service to celebrate his life will be held at the First Parish of Wayland, 50 Cochituate Rd, Wayland, MA on January 11, 2020 at 11 a.m.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to The MGH Parkinson’s Lewy Body Fund, indicating it’s in honor of William Schwalm.  Mail to the Massachusetts General Hospital Development Office, 125 Nashua Street, Suite 540, Boston, MA 02114, Attention: Kylie Wojcicki. 

Donations may also be made online at

Please indicate: The MGH Parkinson's Lewy Body Fund in honor of William Schwalm.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of William J Schwalm, please visit our floral store.


Celebration of Life
January 11, 2020

11:00 AM
First Parish of Wayland
50 Cochituate Road
Wayland, MA 01778

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