Robert “Bob” Schawang, 71, of Winter Haven, FL, passed away Jan. 22, 2016. He was born Jan. 7, 1945 to the late Antone and Vernell Schawang.
Bob was raised in the Schawang country home northeast of Falls City, attended country school at the Red Brick School House and finished at Falls City Sacred Heart. Following school, he worked on the family farm with his father. Bob also worked different jobs at the grain elevator, Joy Oil and Indian Cave State Park. His last job he held while living in Falls City was for Ed Hartman at FC Fertilizer. He was a member of the Kiwanis and, with his two sons Randy and Tony, participated in 4H, many Falls City High Band functions, and was a linesman for all the Tiger home football games in 1989. After his first wife, Donna (Lee) Schawang, passed away in 1983, he met and married Carolyn (Wilhelm) Speers, and gained two daughters, Wendy (Speers) Allen, of Plattsmouth, and Cindy (Speers) Bartels, of Winter Haven.
In 1989, Bob and Carolyn moved to Winter Haven. While living in Florida, he became a foreman for three different scenic construction companies, building amusement parks and exhibits. He participated in the construction of Universal Studios’ Islands of Adventures, many different attractions at the Disney parks, in Branson, MO, Ripley’s Believe It or Not, Universal Studios California, and many other amusement locations. He is most know for the following items: the ET ride at Universal Studios in Florida, where there is an actual character on the ride that an artist constructed in his likeness and named it after him. He worked on the Jaws ride, helped build Popeye’s ship, and many other things at Universal in Florida. He helped build the stage for Phil Collins to perform on during the halftime show at Super Bowl XXXIV in 2000, decorative items for MGM Las Vegas, and worked on exhibits for FAO Schwarz Toy Store in NY.
Bob was very active in his job until he was involved in a construction accident that left him partially disabled and no longer able to work such a vigorous job. He then kept busy with woodworking and refinishing furniture for Harry’s Old Place in Winter Haven. His last job was for the Florida Dept. of Ag as an orange grove inspector.
He kept very active in woodworking until his finial days, building toys for his grandchildren and other items used in homes of his friends and family.
While living in Nebraska, he was a member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church at Arago, and, in Florida, he was a member of St. Matthew’s Catholic Church of Winter Haven.
He is survived by his wife, Carolyn; son, Tony (Nicole), of Clearwater; daughters, Cindy and Wendy (Jim); sister, Judy (Tazz) Hanna, of Rapid City, SD; 10 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by a son, Randy Schawang; grandson, Gage; parents, Antone and Vernell; spouse, Donna; and one of his best friends and brother-in-law, Bob Fredrick.
He loved the ocean, working with his hands to make something out of nothing, country music, fishing and cartoons. He never met a person who would not be his friend, and would talk to you about anything.
The immediate Funeral Mass will be held at St. Matthew’s Catholic Church in Winter Haven on Thursday, Jan. 28, 2016. A second Mass at Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Falls City, and burial at the Catholic Cemetery next to his mother and father, will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials go to help bring him home to Nebraska.