By HDN Staff
CHESTER John Harvey Swank, 92, Chester, died Thursday, July 4, 2002, at a Great Falls care center, where he'd lived since suffering a stroke in March.
Memorial service will be 11 a.m. Friday at the Chester United Methodist Church. Interment of ashes will be at the Chester Cemetery.
John was born April 29, 1910, near Nappannee, Ind., to Rosa Wyman Swank and Charles A. Swank. He was one of 15 children. The Swank family moved to Chester when John was 1 years old. He grew up on the homestead and received his early education at a country school near Black Coulee. He finished his schooling in Chester, graduating from Chester High School in 1933.
John married Ardyce Robison on June 26, 1935, at Great Falls. They made their home in the Chester community, where John worked in the trucking and farming business. In the mid 1950s, they purchased a farm-and-ranch operation north of Zurich, which John ran in conjunction with his Chester farm. The Swanks retired in 1972 and began spending their winters in Yuma, Ariz. They maintained a home in Chester during the summer months, but sold it last year and moved to Great Falls to live with a daughter.
John was a longtime member of the Chester United Methodist Church and had served on the church board. He was also a member of the Masonic Lodge of Joplin and the Scottish Rite of Great Falls. During his younger days in Chester, John served on the school board, the volunteer fire department and was a strong supporter in the construction of the local swimming pool. He was proud to be a staunch Republican.
John enjoyed gardening and yardwork, and could build or repair almost anything. In his youth, he enjoyed hunting and did some deep-sea fishing in his later years. He also enjoyed swimming, bike riding and playing cards. During his quiet time, he enjoyed reading his Bible or Reader's Digest. He loved spending time with his grandchildren and great-grandchildren and was always looking for fun things to do.
During their 67 years together, the Swanks enjoyed good health and made several memorable trips to Europe, Australia, Panama Canal, Mexico and the Baja Peninsula.
John was preceded in death by his parents, 13 siblings, and one granddaughter, Robin Meech.
Survivors include his wife, Ardyce of Great Falls; daughters, Meredith (Don) Anderson of Great Falls and Sandy (Russell) Meech of Hardy Creek; son, Terry (Monica) Swank of Chinook; brother, Ed Swank of Chester; seven grandchildren; 12 great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.
Memorials may be given to the United Methodist Church, Liberty County Hospital or donor's choice.
Arrangements are by Rockman Funeral Chapel, Chester.