1952 John 2024

John Heilner Schwab

April 19, 1952 — May 21, 2024

Bainbridge Island

Dr. John Heilner Schwab, a psychotherapist in Seattle and on Bainbridge Island, died at his Bainbridge home on May 21, 2024. He had just turned 72.
John was born in New York City in 1952 and grew up in Mamaroneck, New York. He attended Middlebury College where he studied English. He later worked in theater for many years in New York before moving to Seattle in 1985 with his wife Robin Lynn Smith—both were inspired by the beauty of Mount Rainier National Park to act on a shared desire to establish a new and intentional life. Throughout his life, John found joy in the outdoors, climbing mountains from the Adirondacks to the Cascades.


After living in Seattle for several years and having two children, John built a new career in psychology. He got his Masters from the Existential Phenomenological Psychology program at Seattle University and earned a doctorate in Clinical Psychology at Seattle Pacific University. He created and ran a private practice in clinical psychology for more than 20 years.


John will be remembered by colleagues but also by his nuclear and extended family for promoting the benefits of love and all caring relationships. This was the cornerstone not only of his practice but also for his marriage to Robin and the raising of their children, Peter and Rachel Schwab. Peter and his wife Abby Fessler live in Seattle, and Rachel and her husband Noah Steimel live in Washington, DC. John had just attended Rachel’s wedding as well as her law school graduation in the spring of 2024.


In addition to Robin, his children, and their spouses, John leaves behind two brothers, Tony Schwab and Matthew Schwab, and their wives and children. There is also his large family of French Schwabs, many of whom emigrated from Europe to America in the Twentieth Century. John’s impulse to integrate all that he knew and had learned from his loving family has enriched the lives of everyone who benefitted from his life and work.


Arrangements entrusted to Cook Family Funeral Home of Bainbridge Island, WA.
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