Schwartzkopf led life of service
David “Dave” Schwartzkopf, a leader in Minnesota’s disability community for many years, will be remembered at a private memorial service in June. Schwartzkopf died in February. He was 79 and lived in Rochester.
Schwartzkopf was born in Pulaski, Wisconsin. He had cerebral palsy since birth, and as a child developed macular degeneration. He was incorrectly labeled tagged as intellectually disabled as a child. Then two teachers thought he should take an IQ test, and he was found to be quite intelligent. He graduated from Pulaski High School and earned degrees in mathematics and physics at the University of Wisconsin.
In 1967 he began a long career as a systems programmer with IBM, working in Poughkeepsie, New York, Boca Raton, Florida and Rochester over the years. He was instrumental in the development of a process for small computers to print Braille.
He would later serve as the workforce development manager for Goodwill Easter Seals in St. Paul and as the executive director for Southeast Minnesota Center for Independent Living in Rochester.
When Rudy Perpich was governor, IBM donated his services to the State of Minnesota. Schwartzkopf was appointed as the assistant commissioner of rehabilitation.
That appointment started a longtime commitment to advocacy for the disability community. As a blind man with cerebral palsy, Schwartzkopf knew the issues others in the community faced. He served on many boards and commissions to support the right to work and live independently. One of his roles was as chairman of the Minnesota Council on Disability.
He was one of the Minnesotans involved in the creation of the federal American with Disabilities Act (ADA). He also worked on the Help America Vote Act of 2002, which improved voting accessibility for individuals with disabilities. Two years after the bill passed, at the age of 62, he voted in a presidential election for the first time independently.
Schwartzkopf received many awards, from groups and government officials at all levels. President George H. W. Bush presented him with the 1990 Disabled American of the Year Award.
Schwartzkopf’s wife Jean Martin and other family members preceded him in death. He is survived by his four stepchildren and their families, a sister and extended family members.
Memorial contributions may be made to the National Federation for the Blind of Minnesota , at nfbmn.org
Vanderlinden a skilled fundraiser
Cheryl L. Vanderlinden was a fundraiser and community volunteer. The lifelong Delano resident died in March after battling metastatic breast cancer for more than 14 years. She was 63.
Vanderlinden is described as refusing to be defined by her wheelchair or physical abilities, leading an active and busy life. She was dedicated to her family, and enjoyed travel and entertaining.
Over the years Vanderlinden raised more than 422 million for the causes of Courage Center, Lutheran Social Services and Catholic Charities of Minneapolis and St. Paul. She took great personal satisfaction from her work and believed in the causes she worked on.
Her volunteer activities included service on the Access Press Board of Directors.
Vanderlinden is survived by her husband Dale, children and their families, sisters and other extended family members. Services have been held.
Memorial contributions may be made to Lutheran Social Services, Catholic Charities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, Angel Foundation and Semper Fi Fund.