May 20, 1991 ‒ May 28, 2020
MANSFIELD: “It is often in the darkest skies that we see the brightest stars” (Richard Evans). In the midst of his personal battles, perhaps insecurities, and even struggles with addiction, Kaleb Schwamberger shined as a brilliant star. On Thursday May 28th, just eight days after his 29th birthday, Kaleb lost his long battle with addiction, but not without a fight. Even in such a short lifetime, Kaleb’s loving character has left a resounding impact on his family and friends.
Kaleb was a 2009 graduate from Madison High School and received his cosmetology license from The Aveda Institute in Columbus. Most of his life he lived and worked in Mansfield. The past few years he lived and worked in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida where his recovery family supported him and where he had made many lasting friendships. He was a truly gifted individual.
As we all have our own struggles, Kaleb’s struggle was drug addiction. He was open and honest and fought so hard to overcome this struggle. This was no secret to his family and friends who, in return, always supported and loved Kaleb unconditionally. For anyone that has lost a loved one to addiction or who has a loved one that is struggling with addiction knows what a constant uphill battle it is. The disease of addiction consumes their mind, their thoughts and their actions. Kaleb should be remembered as the talented, funny, social, handsome, artistic, free spirited and loving person that he was. That was the “real” Kaleb. From a young age, Kaleb has always been naturally creative in self-expression through music and art. Anyone that knew Kaleb, knew that music was his life. He thoroughly enjoyed concerts. He was a self-taught piano player. He found peace and comfort in playing the piano, exploring nature and astrology as well as photography. He was a true kid at heart and liked Pokémon, Harry Potter, LEGOS and playing video games. He was a huge fan of Game of Thrones. His smile, gorgeous big blue eyes and laugh lit up a room. More than his interests and hobbies, Kaleb invested in others. He was happiest bringing joy to others and being accompanied by his family and friends, many of which were like his family. The daily battle between the sober and happy person he so badly wanted to be again and the addiction that consumed his life is over.
One of his closest friends, Eric Lloyd, shared the following profound thoughts.
“Is there any greater tragedy that can be found than when someone whose beauty shines like the sun is hidden by the darkness of their own insecurities and fears? Kaleb stood as a beacon of light in a sea of darkness. Though he was plagued by insecurity and fears around his own value, there was no doubt that the joy and love that he brought into this world is rarely found. No matter where Kaleb went, he would try to help to lift others up and never gave up on trying to find his own light. I have no doubt in my mind whatsoever that given the opportunity, Kaleb would have become one of the more selfless and amazing men I have ever met. His struggle with his own self-doubt held him back and that beautiful potential got extinguished before he could manifest it for us to see. But I saw it and I know so many others did every time he would smile or offer his kind-hearted help and love to those in need. I have seen many tragedies in my life as I have been through much but the tragedy of not letting this beautiful soul become everything he could be strikes me most profound. It is important in this time that we take a step back and take what he has given us – the lesson he has shown us so that we will not make the same mistakes. Overcoming addiction requires surrendering completely to a new way of life and while Kaleb never got to the point of being able to do that, I know he is hoping his sacrifice will help others find their way to the light out of the darkness.”
Kaleb is survived by his mother Anita Sutherland and father Timothy Schwamberger; siblings Krystal Sutherland, Dekota Schwamberger, Paige Eldridge, and Kamden Sutherland; niece Mora Sutherland; as well as loving grandparents, aunts, an uncle, cousins and extended family members.
Public visitation will be held Saturday, June 6, 2020 from 12pm-3pm in the Lexington Avenue Snyder Funeral Home. Reduced occupancy limits will be observed. Private funeral services will follow this Saturday’s visitation. Pastor Terry Garrett will officiate.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Snyder Funeral Homes, to assist his family with funeral expenses. Please make checks payable to Snyder Funeral Homes.