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Mark F. Schwab, 66, tourism official, grandnephew of Buffalo mayor

Mark F. Schwab, 66, tourism official, grandnephew of Buffalo mayor

Aug. 11, 1953 – Jan. 15, 2020

Mark F. Schwab, grandnephew of 1920s Buffalo Mayor Francis X. Schwab, discovered his calling at his first job after graduating cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in English from the University at Buffalo in 1975.

“He went out to San Francisco to be a copy boy at the Oakland Tribune,” his older brother, Joseph F. Jr. said, “and he started writing some. He was always the most outgoing person in the room. He could start a conversation with anyone about anything.”

That led him into public relations.

When he returned to Buffalo in the late 1970s, he became public affairs and communications director for the Buffalo Zoo.

He went on to be director of tourism for the Buffalo Area Chamber of Commerce. Gov. Hugh Carey appointed him chairman of the I Love New York Summer Festival campaign.

He was a member of the Great Lakes Seaway Trail regional board of directors and the Niagara Tourism Advisory Board.

He moved to Columbus, Ohio, in the mid-1980s and established his own advertising and public relations firm – Schwab and Associates – in 1985. One of his major clients was Waste Management Inc.

A resident of South Carolina for the past year and a half, he died unexpectedly Jan. 15 in his home in Charleston. He was 66.

Born in Buffalo, Mark Francis Schwab attended North Forest Elementary School and Mill Middle School and was a 1971 graduate of Williamsville South High School.

In Ohio, he was a senior member of the State of Ohio Tourism Advisory Board and public relations adviser to Ohio Parents for a Drug Free Youth.

Active in Republican political circles, he befriended many Ohio politicians, including Gov. John Kasich.

In 2010, he moved to Glens Falls, wrote a novel, “The Spouse Dealer,” and established American Publishing and Distribution Co. to market it. He wrote freelance articles for tourism magazines and was working on a second novel at the time of his death.

A lifelong car and motorcycle enthusiast, he owned several vintage sports cars and a Harley-Davidson. In recent years, he drove an Austin Healey 3000 roadster.

He enjoyed the outdoors – camping, hiking and skiing in the Adirondacks, and boating and fishing on Lake George. He moved to South Carolina in 2018, his brother said, because “he literally became tired of the snow.”

Mr. Schwab researched his family history, tracing his ancestors to the British Isles and Austria.

“He was really big on genealogy,” his brother said. “Our mother was born in Ontario and her mother and father came from Ireland and Scotland. Apparently on the Scotland side, there was royalty somewhere, a McIntosh or a McCord.”

In addition to his brother, survivors include nieces and nephews.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 9:30 a.m. Saturday in SS. Peter and Paul Catholic Church, 5480 Main St., Williamsville.

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