Carl A. Swartz, 86, of Fremont, passed away peacefully, Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012, in Rutherford House in Fremont.
Carl was born March 29, 1926, in Maple Grove, Ohio, son of the late George and Lela (Bickel) Swartz. He attended York School through the eighth grade, leaving to help on the family farm.
Carl lied about his age so he could enlist in the Navy at the age of 17 and serve his country during World War II. Carl sailed the South Pacific as a gunners mate on liberty ships. He was honorably discharged having gained the rank of seaman 1st class. Carl was awarded the American Area Campaign Medal, WWII Victory Medal and Asiatic Pacific Area Campaign Medal.
After the war years, he returned to marry his sweetheart, Shirley J. DeVanna, on Dec. 14, 1946, in Newport, Ky. After marrying, they returned to Sandusky County, residing in the Bellevue and Riley Township areas before spending 46 years on Second Street in Fremont. They were married 61 1/2 years.
After farming at an early age, Carl enjoyed 17 years with Pet Milk in Fremont. After the milk plant closed, he worked at Whirlpool and Miller Pipe Line. He always worked two jobs; at times, hauling milk for Spin Overmeyer and driving a water truck for Glenn Swinehart, as well. Carl ended his working career after more than 23 years with Ford Motor Company in Sandusky, plus 17 years as a bus driver for Fremont City Schools.
Carl was a Life member of VFW Post 2947, and long time member and trustee of the Fremont Moose. He was an avid card player and dedicated Cleveland Indians and Browns fan. He took up bowling and bicycling in retirement and excelled immediately. Carl logged thousands of miles on his bike each year and loved to tell everyone about it. His favorite daily route was to Clyde and back on the North Coast Inland bike trail. His love of cycling was not left on the trail. He was known in the Second Street neighborhood as “Mr. Carl-the man who will fix your bike.” He often bought parts and some used bikes, which he repaired and distributed to neighbor kids, wanting nothing in return.
During the winter months, you would see him plowing sidewalks surrounding the 500 block of Second Street. He was always willing to help his neighbors. His generosity was the norm, often putting others before himself.
Carl is survived by his son, Douglas (Kathy), of Sterling Heights, Mich., and daughter, Vicky (Jeffrey) Baltzell, of Fremont; five grandchildren, Jon, Eric and Zachary Swartz, Megan (Garrett) Baumann and Jennifer Baltzell; and a handful of great-grandchildren-most recently, Isaac Marshall Baumann; siblings, Roy Swartz, of Bellevue, Velma Cox, of Flat Rock, Phyllis Snezek, of Collin, LaDonna Gillis, of New Hampshire, and Nancy Vanderpool, of Willard; and special friend, Bernice Saam, of Fremont.
He was preceded in death by his wife Shirley; son Wayne; parents; brothers, Jim, Glen, Phil, Lester, Alfred and George Swartz; and sisters, Mary, Dorothy and Marjorie Swartz.
Visitation will be from 10 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 17, at Wonderly Horvath Hanes Funeral Home & Crematory, 425 E. State St., Fremont, where services will begin at 11 a.m. Pastor Dan Vickey will officiate. Burial will take place at York Free Chapel Cemetery, Bellevue, with Military Honors provided by Bellevue VFW.
The family requests no flowers or gifts. If desired, memorials can be made to Heartland Hospice, 905 W. State St., Fremont, OH 43420.
Condolences may be sent to the family at whhfh.com.