BOX ELDER - Charles Norman Swan, 84, retired farmer and machinist for Burlington Northern Railway, died Sunday, June 1, 2003, at a Havre care facility of natural causes.
The wake will begin 4 p.m. today at the St. Anthony Catholic Church in Box Elder with the rosary service at 7:30 p.m. The funeral Mass will be celebrated 10 a.m. Tuesday with the Rev. Pete Guthneck officiating. The committal rite will be at the Highland Cemetery with Father Pete Guthneck officiating. The Unified Veterans Council assisted by The Rocky Boy Warriors Society will provide the graveside military honors.
Memorials may be made to The Margaret Swan Memorial Scholarship Fund, c/o Stone Child College, RR 1 Box 1082, Box Elder, MT 59521.
Services and arrangements are under the direction of Holland and Bonine Funeral Home in Havre.
Charles "Charlie" was born Nov. 21, 1918, in Lewistown to Robert and Adeline Swan. He attended St. Leo's Parochial School in Lewistown until the 10th grade. He worked for the WPA during the 1930s and early 1940s. In 1944 he enlisted in the U.S. Navy and served in the South Pacific. He received an honorable discharge in 1946. He then returned to Montana and went to work for the Bureau of Reclamation. He next started farming with his father and went to work for the Great Northern Railway. He retired from the Burlington Northern Railway in 1987 with more than 30 years of service. In April of this year, Charlie was honored by the Chippewa Cree Tribe for being the oldest male member of the Tribe and the oldest veteran. In May of 2003 the Montana Legislature passed a law granting all World War II veterans a GED. Charlie received his at that time.
In 1938 he met Margaret Parisian and the couple were married Sept. 18, 1938, at Rocky Boy.
Charles enjoyed playing his fiddle, fishing, hunting, and puttering around. In his younger years he was a rather accomplished artist.
Charles was preceded in death by his parents, Robert and Adeline Swan; wife, Margaret P. Swan; three infant sons; brothers, Walter and George Swan; sisters, Dorothy Hattleberg and Irene Belcourt.
He is survived by his sons, Charles W. (Linda) Swan of Window Rock, Ariz., Robert J. (Diane) Swan of Rocky Boy, Ronald J. (Leona) Swan of Rocky Boy, Kenneth H. (Luella) Swan of Box Elder, and Anthony D. (Monique) Swan of Wasilla, Alaska; daughters, Constance J. (Ken) Morsette of Box Elder and Linda L. Swan of Billings; 34 grandchildren, and numerous great-grandchildren.