Traverse City Record-Eagle
---- — TRAVERSE CITY — Donald G. Swaney, age 83, a lifelong resident of Traverse City, passed away peacefully, surrounded by his loving family on Monday, June 17, 2013, at Munson Hospice House after a long illness. He was born May 19, 1930, in Traverse City, to Elmer and Lillian (Magee) Swaney.
Don attended Immaculate Conception Grade School and graduated from St. Francis High School in 1948.
He married Jeanette Denoyer on Sept. 25, 1950, at St. Francis Church. Father Kohler officiated. Together they raised 10 children and enjoyed 62 happy years of marriage.
Don attended Central Michigan University on a basketball scholarship.
He coached basketball for St. Francis JVs and officiated many basketball games over a 17-year period. He loved sports. He played softball for Rennie Oil Co. and Burke Coal Dock. Don was a Detroit Tigers fan and watched them play baseball since he was 10 years old.
Don was employed at Burke Coal Dock for 13 years and was a dock superintendent for 20 years for the City of Traverse City. He retired in 1992.
He was on the Board of Directors for East Traverse Catholic Federal Credit Union for 13 years.
After retirement he and Jeanette spent many winters in Lakeland, Fla., and were able to watch the Tigers during their spring training. While in Florida they met many new friends. Don enjoyed shuffle board, pitching horseshoes and a friendly game of Euchre with his buddies.
His favorite pastimes were fishing, rabbit hunting and doing crossword puzzles. Don enjoyed many good times with his children and grandchildren. He especially loved fishing from the pontoon boat at the cottage on Rennie Lake with them and attending their many sporting events and other activities over the years.
Don will be greatly missed by his wife, Jeanette; their children, Janet (Nick) DeVito, of Grand Rapids, Robert Swaney, of Traverse City, Donna (Greg) Williams, of Traverse City, Jim (Lisa) Swaney, of Chicago, Greg Swaney, of Traverse City, Michael (Frieda) Swaney, of California, John (Becky) Swaney, of Rockford, Barbara (Rick) Liptak, of Boon, and Gary Swaney, of Traverse City; 15 grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren; a sister, Virginia Bennett, of California; and a brother, Gerald (Ann) Swaney, of Old Mission.
Besides his parents, Don was preceded in death by his sisters, Shirley Smaha and Lorraine McNabb; and a son, Thomas Swaney.
The family would like to thank the staff at Munson Hospice House for their care and compassion during Don’s stay.
A visitation will be held Thursday, June 20, 2013, from 6 to 8 p.m., at St. Francis Catholic Church, with a rosary recitation at 7:30 p.m. A funeral Mass will be held Friday, June 21, 2013, at 10 a.m., also at the church. Burial will take place at Grand Traverse Memorial Gardens.
Memorial contributions in Don’s name may be directed to the Father Fred Foundation or Grand Traverse Area Catholic Schools.
Please share a memory and view photos of Don at www.covellfuneralhomes.com.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Covell Funeral Home of Traverse City.