In Memory

David Alan Sweitzer

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04/24/20 05:41 PM #1    

Joe Goldman

I always saw Dave as a guy who truly, truly, marched to the beat of his own drummer.  I also saw something else: I guy whom people from all spectrums liked, and wanted to know.  We all had our own crowd and type, be it an academic-ish crowd, athletic, performing arts, tough-guy wanna be's, you name it.  And I swear, people from so many crowds wanted Dave as a friend.  In one class that I shared with him, he related that he had recently entered some weekend party of our class (you know, where we'd leave the poor parents' home utterly trashed), and he found that so many people were yelling out "Sweitzer! Sweitzer!" as he came in that he just felt that he had to get out of there, so intense was this, and he did so.  However, all they were doing was returning the entirely genuine, warm smile and wave of Dave's hand that they had received from him in the hallways all the time.  Well, that tells you about his near universal likability, his warmth,and the big- time charisma he exuded. It is my feeling that many people felt like they were a friend of Dave's, no matter what crowd they came from, from the clean cut, to the stoners.  Not many folks are warm enough achieve that, in my view.

He and the faculty/administration didn't see eye to eye well as the NTE years passed on (as he once confided to me at a bar stool at Suel's in Northfield, perhaps 15 years ago or so)...but that was just Sweitzer: his own drummer.

Rest easy my friend, and know that we all will miss you.  You had a smile for everyone.


Joe Goldman



04/28/20 11:49 AM #2    

Domenico Lanzillotta

Dave Sweitzer passed Easter Sunday and there is barely a night that I don’t include him in my daily “thankful” prayers. 

I first met Dave at Howard Jr. High in Wilmette and we remained friends though high school, working together at Treasure Island. During our days at New Trier, Dave had this rough, tough-guy exterior. And it was indeed true — between him, Steve George and Al Hurly, they could pretty much kick anyone’s butt.

After sharing some college shenanigans with Dave at Western Illinois University, our lives took different paths and we lost contact for some time. It was through a chance meeting between Dave and my younger brother Salvino at Seul’s that we reconnected again. Sal was in town visiting our mom who lived in Northfield and collected Dave’s phone number for me. With a single call, Dave and I started a fresh relationship that felt like it never left off.

I live in California now, but every time I flew into Chicago for business I would call Dave and see about meeting up for a meal or a drink. It was during these last years that I really got to see and know the real Dave. The honest Dave, who would share his feelings as we reminisced about all the fun, sophomoric things we did as invincible young adults. 

Dave had a magnificent memory and would recite details of our days at New Trier, Gilson Park, and running up to the Brat Stop in Wisconsin with fake IDs as soon as we were able to drive. Fake IDs were easy back then, drivers’ licenses were paper and all you needed was good alignment with an old-fashioned typewriter.

I believe I will remember Dave the most for his ability to bring people together. Beneath that exterior persona, he was truly a delightful, affable guy who cared very much for his friends and those around his life.

I will always be grateful for his ability to lead and gather what is currently known as “The Wilmette Boys.” Some members of this group go back to grade school at Central and Logan, among others. From an early age, we may have been from different backgrounds and different groups, but Dave was the common element and glue that held us all together.

Some people are fortunate to still have one or two friends from high school or earlier. We are easily over a dozen. We owe our renewed friendships to Dave’s tenacity for reaching out to people and creating events where we could share old memories and create new ones.

I will miss seeing Dave when I travel through Chicago. I will never forget our friendship — and I will always be fond of his style for living life his way, and on his terms.

Rest In Peace Dave. 










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