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William Warren Swartz, 94

| June 29, 2022 1:00 AM

After 94 years of life, William Warren Swartz took his last breath on June 22, 2022. Warren (as he was always called) was the son of Daniel L. Swartz and Louise M. Stewart Swartz, born Nov. 15, 1927, in the house built by his maternal grandparents near Daisy, Wash. The doctor who delivered him had delivered his mother in the same house 26 years earlier. After his birth, he went with his parents and older sister to their home in Sanders, Idaho. It was wintertime and the last 20 miles to their home they had to ride in the mail sled because the snow was so deep.

His father was a Free Methodist minister, so they moved quite often as they were transferred from one town to another to another, mainly in Washington, but also in Oregon and Idaho. He described his early family life as happy despite the fact the Great Depression was on and funds to support a family with five children were very slim. As a teenager he worked in the apple orchards around Tonasket, Wash., to earn extra money. In 1944 the family moved to Snohomish, Wash. He got a job that summer working at JC Penny and worked there until he graduated from Snohomish High School in 1945. He went on to attend Seattle Pacific College in Seattle, Wash., working summers in the orchards to pay for tuition.

While still attending SPC, he met Gladys Laverne Root, and they married in November 1948. Their first daughter, Rosemary, was born in 1949. Warren graduated from SPC in 1951 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Theology, and he and Gladys entered the ministry and pastored four different churches during the next eight years. Their second daughter, Rebekah Ann, was born while they were pastoring a church in Fruitland, Idaho.

In 1960, Warren and his family moved to Bonners Ferry, Idaho, where he began teaching school at Valley View Elementary School. He taught fourth, fifth and sixth grades in Bonners Ferry for the next 17 years. In 1977 he began working as a boiler operator at Louisiana Pacific Sawmill in Moyie Springs, Idaho, and retired in 1989. He and Gladys were then able to travel to some of the places they had always wanted to see, as well as enjoy the garden and mini orchard in their backyard. He was actively involved in the Bonners Ferry Free Methodist Church in numerous capacities until he and Gladys moved to Coeur d Alene, Idaho, in 2005. He then became involved in the First Baptist Church in Coeur d'Alene.

While he was still in high school, he received a radio building kit, which started his interest in and understanding of electronics, and he took to the digital age and personal computers right alongside his grandson. He had a lifetime interest in photography, beginning with learning to develop his own prints in the 1950s to digital video making and editing in the 21st century. He taught himself woodworking and became skilled enough to make custom pieces of furniture and even built his own rowboat, with which he was able to enjoy fishing the lakes in Boundary County for many years.

He faithfully cared for Gladys through many years of health problems until her death in 2015. In 2016, he sold his home and moved into the Grove Apartments at Orchard Ridge in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. There he met Joanne Anderson and fell madly in love. They were married in August 2017, and Joanne gave him many happy days. His eyes lit up every time he looked at her.

Warren always championed the underdog, he gave his time and friendship to the lonely, he visited the sick and homebound, bought food for the hungry. What mattered most to him in his own words: “My prayer … is that somehow my life has been lived to glorify God, and that others might be encouraged to seek Him.”

Preceding him in death were his wife, Gladys, and all his siblings: Amy Kellogg, Danetta Rogers, Ruth Fenison and Burton Swartz.

Surviving him are his wife, Joanne Anderson, two daughters: Rosemary Eby and Rebekah Swartz; five grandchildren: Stephenie Mach, Roger Ramey, Janette Riley, Jeremy Hudson and Joseph Eby; six great-grandchildren: Carrie Luby, Christian Mach, Ian Ramey, Darik Ramey, Alexander Ramey and Skyelar McKenna; and three great-great-grandchildren: Natalie, Nicole and Liam Luby.

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