Jerry Schwiebert, 72, of Chelsea, MI, passed away peacefully on Monday, August 14, 2023. He died at home, surrounded by family, after a decade-long battle with cancer. Jerry was a man of many passions, including fly fishing, sailing, cycling, soccer, painting, teaching, and most importantly his family. He loved to fly fish, especially on the Au Sable River, and even illustrated Rusty Gates’ flyfishing book, “Seasons on the Au Sable.”

Jerry grew up in Napoleon, Ohio and graduated from Napoleon High School in 1969. Afterwards he attended the University of Toledo, where he earned a specialized degree in Theatrical Arts and Production. Following graduation, Jerry worked as an assistant film editor in NYC, assisting with many network commercials. As a young man he became Director of the Toledo Public Arts Center and oversaw the design and construction of a theater.

Jerry earned admission to the graduate directing program at the University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, where he studied with the distinguished American director Allen Schneider and foremost acting teacher Arthur Wagner. His academic career included positions at Hillsdale College, Michigan Tech University, the University of Toledo, and Southern Methodist University. However, the vast majority and end of his career was spent at the University of Michigan, where Jerry will be remembered for numerous productions, including Almost Maine and The Crucible, as well as his annual “Freshman Show.”

While at the University of Michigan, Jerry began working with conductors. This work culminated in his writing two books, “Physical Expression and the Performing Artist: Moving Beyond the Plateau” and “Expressive Conducting: Movement and Performance Theory for Conductors.” He also consulted on Michael Haithcock’s book, “The Elements of Expressive Conducting.”

Jerry married his lifelong sweetheart Anne Marie Coyne in 1983, to whom he was married for 40 years. He is survived by her, his two children, Alexander AuSable and Anna (“Annika”), and his grandchildren, Caroline and Adelaide. Other loved ones include Alex’s wife, Sarah Brim, Anna’s husband, John Cramer, as well as Jerry’s brothers, Loren, Weldon, and James and their wives. He was preceded in death by his parents, Bert and Loida Schwiebert, and his siblings, Wayne Paul and Mary Ann.

Jerry’s enthusiasm, energy, humor, and creativity brought joy to many throughout his life. He will be dearly missed.

A memorial service will be held Friday, August 18, 2023, 2:00 p.m. at Cole Funeral Chapel in Chelsea, Michigan with Rev. Dr. Barbara Edema officiating. The family will receive friends before the service at 1:00 p.m. Memorial contributions may be made to Anglers of the Au Sable, the University of Michigan School of Theater, Music and Dance, or a charity of your choice.

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#2 Laura Dwyer 2023-08-16 15:39
Anatomy of Sound has lost its beloved mentor, movement coach Jerald Schweibert.
Jerry’s wonderful humor and joy of discovery was nothing short of magical. His loss resounds through the many lives he changed. Anatomy of Sound is profoundly grateful and deeply saddened. We will love him forever.

Jerry meant so much to so many. He was my mentor, my dear teacher and most important inspiration. I will miss him for the rest of my life.
#1 Malcolm Tulip 2023-08-15 16:12
I am so sorry to hear of Jerry's passing. He made a wonderful contribution to the Theatre program here at Michigan and made a vital contribution to the training of so many students. My sincere condolences to all his family.

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