BARAGA - Wayne J. Swartz, 75, of Baraga, passed away suddenly at his home Wednesday, February 8, 2012.
He was born in L'Anse on February 27, 1936, the son of the late John and Clara (Knapp) Swartz. Wayne graduated from L'Anse High School and served in the U.S. Army during the Korean Conflict.
He had been employed as a truck driver for Pettibone Corp for many years. He then was the first manager for Big Bucks Bingo, working there from 1981 to 1998.
Wayne married the former Ann Kunick in L'Anse on October 23, 1980.
He was a member of Zeba Indian Mission United Methodist Church, the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community, Baraga American Legion Post 444, a lifetime member of AmVets, the L'Anse Golf Club and the Baraga County Bowling League. Wayne was recently serving on the Keweenaw Bay Indian Health Board, a post he had held since 1989. He served on the Keweenaw Bay Indian Tribal Council for 12 years, Vice Chairman for seven years and CEO and President for three years, retiring in 1999. He served on the Baraga County Hospital Board from 1987 until 1993 and was Baraga County Kiwanis Citizen of the year in 1999.
Wayne enjoyed golfing, fishing and hunting.
Mr. Swartz is survived by his wife, Ann; sons, Wayne Jr. and Fred of California and David of L'Anse; daughters, Gail (Butch) Koski of L'Anse, Melody and Leslie of Baraga; 20 grandchildren; 33 great-grandchildren; brothers, Bill (Ann) Swartz and Roland (Dodo) Swartz, both of L'Anse and Ward (Nancy) Swartz of Millington, Mich.; sisters, Pearl Thoresen of L'Anse and Dolly Sapcut of Baraga; sisters-in-law, Sandy Swartz of L'Anse and Barbara Swartz of Baraga; numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.
He was preceded in death by his parents; daughter, Stephanie Swartz; stepson, Tom Schlehuber; brothers, Clyde and Jerry Swartz.
Funeral services for Mr. Swartz will be held at 1 p.m. Monday, February 13, 2012, from the Reid Funeral Service and Chapel in L'Anse with Reverend Steve Rhoades officiating. Interment will take place in the Baraga Cemetery.
The family will receive friends at the funeral chapel on Monday from 11 a.m. until the time of services. Baraga County area veterans, under the direction of Baraga American Legion Post 444 will conduct military honors at the funeral chapel on Monday at noon.
The family invites friends to join them for fellowship and a luncheon immediately following the funeral service at Baraga American Legion Post 444.
Mr. Swartz's obituary may be viewed and condolences sent to the family at rfsc.net.
The Reid Funeral Service and Chapel in L'Anse has been entrusted with arrangements.