Lew Schalm, formerly of Dowagiac
March 6, 1942 — March 29, 2016
On March 29, 2016, Lew passed away at Banner Del Webb Hospice House, Sun City West, Arizona from the effects of COPD, in the presence of his loving wife and family. He was 74 years old.
Lew Schalm was born in Chicago, IL on March 6, 1942. He was the fourth son of Walter Charles Schalm, Sr. and Mary Augusta (Sandmeyer) Schalm.
At a young age, his family moved to the resort town of Sister Lakes in Dowagiac, Michigan where he gained a love of Little Crooked Lake and all manner of outdoor activities. His passion for fishing, in particular, would continue throughout his life.
He graduated from Dowagiac High School in 1960 and then from Western Michigan University in 1965. He married Teresa Warsko in 1964 with whom he had three children and also began his career with Ford Motor Company where he served in varied management positions.
His career would take him to Detroit (1964-1971, 1987-1999) and Southern California (1971-1987) where he made many close friends. He retired to Sun City West, Arizona in 1999 where he would be close to his family (Walter and Janet Schalm, and Caroline and Dave Polling) and pursue his fishing hobby with full zeal.
He was an active member of the Sportman’s club and president of the fishing group. His sign reading “Gone fishing” was posted more often than not. Lew’s full attention to fishing would be interrupted (in all the best ways) when he met his sweetheart Mary Kay (Fromhart); they married in 2007. Together they enjoyed the retirement lifestyle of Sun City West and spent their summers at Sister Lakes.
Lew was preceded in death by his parents Walter and Mary, his brother Edward and sister in-law Janet. Lew is survived by his wife Mary Kay; children Kelly (Mike) Licari, Carolyn Thompson and David (Jill) Schalm; step children Mick (Lisa) Brown, Chris (Sharon) Brown, Meghan Brown; grandchildren Michael, Gabby, Maile, Sophie, Sachi, Niko, Marcus, Samantha, and Jaydus; his brothers Walter (Bernadette) and Robert (Trudy) and Sister in-law Judy; and many nieces and nephews whom he loved dearly.
A celebration of Lew’s life will occur at Camino Del Sol funeral home in Sun City West, Arizona at 2 p.m. April 30. All family and friends of Lew are invited to attend. In lieu of flowers, a donation made in Lew’s name to The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society or the SIDS Alliance / First Candle is greatly appreciated. Please join the family of Lewis in sharing memories, pictures or videos on his tribute wall at www.caminodelsol.com.