Lifelong Alaskan and Soldotna resident Richard Monroe Swarner died Sunday, July 22, 2007, at Central Peninsula Hospital from smoking cigarettes. His wife and sister were at his side. He was 65.
Memorial services will be held at 2 p.m. today, July 26, at Christ Lutheran Church, Mile 1/4 of the Kenai Spur Highway in Soldotna. Pastor Randy Parshall will officiate. A reception will follow the service at the Soldotna Elks Lodge.
Mr. Swarner was born in Fairbanks on Dec. 8, 1941. He graduated from Lathrop High School in Fairbanks and the University of Alaska Fairbanks with a degree in business administration. In 1968 after working for the Fairbanks school district and Nerland's Home Furnishings, he moved to the Kenai Peninsula to become the business manager for the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District. In 1997 he retired after 29 years.
He was the past president of the Alaska School Business Officials, Alaska Municipal Finance Officer's Association, and Soldotna Rotary. He was a Boy Scout leader and a member of the Fairbanks Carpenter's Union, Jaycees, Kiwanis, Igloo No. 4 Pioneers of Alaska, Soldotna Elks Lodge and the Kenai Peninsula Hockey Association. He was honored with a life membership in the Elks. He also was an announcer for area hockey games.
"Dick enjoyed the outdoors and was an avid fisherman and hunter. He built the family home and had a very large vegetable garden. He loved to play cards especially black jack, pinochle, and cribbage. He was a sports fan of hockey, basketball, baseball, football, golf, rodeos and car races. He will be remembered best for his sense of humor and his big heart. His children will remember him for his good advice, compassion, hard work and dedication to his family and community, but most of all his love for their mother and his passion to fish," his family said
Mr. Swarner was preceded in death by his parents, "Amos" and Maxine Swarner; brother, Loren Swarner; father-in-law and mother-in-law, Dave and Eleanor Young; and brother-in-law Lt. David Young, Jr.
He is survived by his wife of 43 years, Judith Ann Young Swarner; daughters, Anne Bixby and her husband, Brian, of Liberty Lake, Wash., and Dianne Wise and her husband, William, of Wasilla; sons, David Swarner and his wife, Anafe, of Anchorage and Kevin Swarner of Soldotna; grandchildren, Brandon and Brent Bixby of Liberty Lake and Amanda, Zachary and Alex Wise of Wasilla; brothers, Don Swarner and his wife, Jo, of Fairbanks, Romar Swarner and his wife, Pam, of Richland, Wash., and Dennis Swarner and his wife, Phyllis, of Kenai; sister, Marcine Mullen and her husband, James of Anchorage; and many nieces and nephews.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations be made to the Elks National Foundation, 2750 North Lake View Avenue, Chicago IL 60614-1889 or Soldotna High School Hockey Booster Club, P.O. Box 1614, Soldotna, AK 99669.
Arrangements are with Peninsula Memorial Chapel in Kenai.
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