FRANKLIN PARK, Pa. - One of the most highly regarded trial lawyers ever to practice law in western Pennsylvania died Thursday afternoon. After thirteen and a half years of refusing to give in to a brain stem injury that completely paralyzed him, William S. Schweers, Sr. passed away at his home in Franklin Park, PA. Mr. Schweers was 77. Mr. Schweers was a native of Augusta and attended Boys Catholic High before accepting a football scholarship to St. Vincent College in Pennsylvania. After graduating from St. Vincent, he served in the US Air Force. In the Air Force he rose to the rank of captain. In 1954 he and his wife Kathryn moved to Pittsburgh where he was an industrial products salesman for the Sun Oil Company and attended Duquesne University School of Law at night. He practiced law at the firm of McArdle, Harrington, Feeney and McLaughlin for seven years. Later he and loyal friend Dennis Harrington founded the firm of Harrington & Schweers. During his career Mr. Schweers was president of American Trial Lawyers of Western PA and president of the Western PA Academy of Trial Lawyers. He served as chairman of the Allegheny County Bar Association's Medical-Legal Committee, Judiciary Committee and Bench-Bar Committee. In addition to leading these professional associations, he was a councilman for the Town of McCandless and president of the St. Alexis of Wexford parish council. William Schweers was a teacher. He was an adjunct professor at Duquesne University's School of Law where he taught a course in trial tactics. He volunteered to tutor inmates in the Allegheny County Jail through the Pittsburgh Literacy Initiative and to teach sometimes unruly 12 and 13 year-olds CCD at St. Alexis. His greatest joy was to teach his children and grandchildren to swim, play tennis and ride a bicycle. Always in shape, Mr. Schweers competed in thirteen marathons including two Boston Marathons. He could often be seen training or running at events in the Pittsburgh area, competing along with his children and grandchildren. One of the events that he especially looked forward to was the Allegheny County Triathlon. Mr. Schweers leaves behind Kathryn Reinehr Schweers, his wife of nearly fifty-six years, attorney William (Merrily) S. Schweers Jr. of Mt Lebanon, Mark (Sandy) Schweers of McCandless, Mary (Dave) Schweers White of Pine Township, attorney Timothy (Andrea) Schweers of McCandless, Kathryn (Tim) Schweers Corcoran of Sewickley, Robert Schweers of Franklin Park and twenty-one grandchildren. Mr. Schweers was predeceased by his siblings J. Noel Schweers Jr. and Mary Catherine Schweers McNeill. Friends will be received Sunday 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 in the Simons Funeral Home, 7720 Perry Highway, Pittsburgh, PA. Mass of Resurrection will be held Monday 10:00AM Sts. John and Paul Catholic Church, 2586 Bayne Rd., Wexford, PA. Burial will follow in Holy Savior Cemetery. The family request memorial contributions to the Duquesne University School of Law, 600 Forbes Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15282 William S. Schweers Scholarship Fund or The Academy of Trial Lawyers of Allegheny County, William S. Schweers Educational Fund, PO box 14744, Pittsburgh, PA 15234.
The Augusta Chronicle-January 15, 2007