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Jack Schwencke 1916 - 2012

Jack Schwencke, one of South's Florida's best-known and most popular players, died of natural causes on May 9 in Palm Beach Gardens FL. He was 95.

Schwencke was one of the first bridge sponsors, at one time or another playing with many of the stars of the game, including Bob Hamman, Gaylor Kasle, Garey Hayden and Jim Jacoby. Another of his partners was Grand Life Master Allan Cokin, who described his friend as "flamboyant." Added Cokin, "Everybody loved Jack."

Schwencke was a Grand Life Master with 12,533 masterpoints to his credit.

Cokin said Schwencke stories are plentiful, including one from a tournament where he played with Kasle. Early in a pairs game, the first board of a set was passed out. On the second board, there were three passes to Schwencke, who opened a hand with 8 high-card points. Kasle bid 2NT, ending the auction, and when he saw dummy he asked Schwencke why he bid. "At these prices," said Schwencke, "we can't afford to pass out two boards in a row."

Schwencke was a successful real estate developer and is credited with co-founding what was at the time the Village of North Palm Beach. Over a 20-year period starting in 1956, Schwencke and his partners built thousands of homes there.

He is survived by his son, Kim, of Temple Terrace FL; and his daughter, Christine Sams, of Asheville NC, and 13 grandchildren.