Charles Swihart, 73

Charles D. Swihart, age 73 of Leonidas, died Saturday, March 16, 2019 at his home. He was born in Flowerfield Township on July 18, 1945 the son of the late Walter Harold and Ethel Maebelle (Ware) Swihart. He graduated from Colon High School and went to work for Reith-Riley Construction before joining the U.S. Army in 1967. He served in Viet Nam where he was awarded the Purple Heart. Upon his return, he continued to work for Reith- Riley for the next 34 years. He then worked for Leland Engineering in White Pigeon before declining health forced him to retire. Charles was married to Dena Phillips on March 6, 1971, and they were later divorced.

Charles was a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the American Legion. He also served as a volunteer on the Leonidas Fire Department and the Leonidas Jay Cees. He bowled in the Thursday mixed league at Sturgis Lanes, and was known as “Charley Brown” by his C.B. handle. He was an outdoorsman who enjoyed gardening, hunting, fishing, and western movies. He looked forward to Wednesday burgers at the bar in Leonidas and monthly Euchre tournaments. He was a kind and gentle man who enjoyed practical jokes. And above all, he was a loving father, grandfather and great-grandfather.

Charles is survived by a daughter, Laura (Scott French) Swihart-Howe; granddaughter, Chelsea (Josh Hull) Howe; and grandson, Donald (Victor Rawson) Howe all of Centreville; great-grandson, Xander “Minnow” Howe; five siblings,, Phyllis Varner of Three Rivers, Jeanette Kelley-Green of White Pigeon, Robert Swihart of Centreville, Denise (David) Cook of Three Rivers, and Ricky (Barbara) Swihart of Colon; four sisters in law, Betty, Pat, Julia, and Diane Swihart; many nieces and nephews; and by his close friends, Bud and Nancy Rogers. He was preceded in death by his parents; six brothers, Harold, Clarence, Ronald, Thomas, Homer James, and Walter Swihart; two sisters, Constance Swihart and Carol Wadsworth.

The family will receive friends from 2 to 4 and from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday at the Eickhoff Funeral Home in Mendon. Funeral services will be 11:30 a.m. Thursday, March 21, 2019 at the funeral home with Rev. David Farrell officiating. Burial will be at Fort Custer National Cemetery at 2 p.m. on Thursday. Memorial donations will be directed to the family. Condolences may be expressed to the family online at

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