Monday, May 2, 2022
11:00 AM EDT
Christ Our Savior Lutheran Church
3151 120th Avenue
Holland, MI 49424
At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
Wounded Warrior Project - Donor Care Center
PO Box 758541
Topeka, KS 66675-8541
Christ Our Savior Lutheran Church
3151 120th Avenue
Holland, MI 49424
Life Story / Obituary
Frank X Swift, beloved husband, father, grandfather, uncle and friend, peacefully passed away on April 10, 2022; his earthly journey now concluded, he has walked into the arms of the Savior he loved and the God he served. When asked what he wanted to do for his recent 89th birthday, his request was simple, take a ride in the car and have an ice cream cake. This was not an easy task as the Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP) had taken away his mobility, but his family rallied and together we toured the area celebrating the places that were dear to him, listening and telling the stories associated with life in those locations. A delightfully perfect day! Frank began life in Belding, Michigan, graduated from Zeeland High School in 1951 and was an avid fan of Michigan State. A lefty, he served his country during the Korean War as a radio operator in Germany - at times he could be heard sounding off his “dit’s” and “dah’s”, had no idea what he was saying, but he knew. His working career was spent at Donnelly (now Magna) where profitable deals were made on the golf course. He was a three time member of the Hole-in-One Club. Although he had played many golf courses in Scotland, Ireland and all the big courses east of the Mississippi, he was a proud member of the Holland Country Club and it remained his all-time favorite place to play. Camaraderie, oh, the memories that were made during those 19 holes! In March of 2017, while having lunch on a Tuesday with his oldest son, a knock sounded at the door, it was a representative from the American Legion Willard G Leenhouts - Post 6, wishing to present him with a “Certificate for 50 years of Continuous Membership”. He was truly honored, this was a big deal to him. That personal touch - it carries far more impact than we ever realize. An avid reader, if you have sat on one of the benches outside of the Herrick District Library, you have been a benefactor of his love of learning and of his fondness for the community in which he lived. While in his 50s, he had a health scare, so biking was added to the list of things he enjoyed, he told many people that he had ridden more than 10,000 miles on his trusty Bianchi. He always wanted to ride to the Holland State Park, go out on the pier and tell the world, “Good Morning America”. Remember one Holland Hundred asking him if he had a tow rope for the last mile of that 67 mile bike ride. A few years ago, a nurse practitioner, who he greatly respected, said, “Frank, you have to quit snacking and get some of that weight off.” He knew she was right and he listened to that sound advice. At times he kept us in stitches with his wit, humor and just the everyday enjoyment of life. So what was important to him - his faith in a God who loved him, his family, his golf and his friends both here in Western Michigan and in Stuart, Florida. During the pandemic, to stay connected with the community, he started designing knitted hats for the homeless. Janese would knit them and then they would be gifted to a local homeless shelter. He felt that men needed to know that other men cared. He enjoyed music, a sampling of which included, The Bee Gees, The Eagles, James Taylor, Jerry Jeff Walker and the soundtrack of The Phantom of the Opera. Went to experience a group of “The Eagles” impersonators - he and his daughter sang the songs making for a lasting memory for both. In recent years, he began and ended each day listening to several of his eight Susan Boyle CDs, he told people he might be a shirt-tail relative as his great-grandmother was a Boyle. He found her music diverse, uplifting, and inspirational - her story had brought tears to his eyes. Oftentimes, it isn’t about what we see or think we see, but about what reality is - if just given a chance. Frank believed in people and their ability to do the right thing and to work hard, he was instrumental in getting many businesses in Holland started - everyone has to start somewhere. Every morning after breakfast, he would recite three passages from the Bible - Psalm 25:4-5 (“Show me your ways, O Lord, teach me your paths; guide me in your truth, and teach me; for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long”), Psalm 19:14 (“Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my Redeemer”) and Psalm 33:22 (“May your unfailing love be with us, Lord, even as we put our hope in you”) - they became his heartfelt prayers. He was a man who knew what he wanted and who he was. At night, before he fell asleep he and Janese would say the Lord’s Prayer together and then pray for the forgiveness of their sins, for several friends, couples and each of their family members. He was a man who loved deeply, was confident, generous, a role model and tender hearted. Even though we all know that our days are numbered, it is with mixed emotion that we say goodbye to this man we loved so dearly, we are saddened and our hearts grieve, we will miss him greatly, but we will remember and celebrate the love and life he shared with those around him.
He really wanted to savor the taste of a steak again, but he faced the limitations of his illness (PSP) with strength, courage, determination and without complaint. The family would like to thank his church families at Redeemer Lutheran Church in Stuart, Florida; Christ Our Savior Lutheran Church in Holland, Michigan; VITAS Hospice in Stuart, Florida and Hospice of Holland in Holland, Michigan for their kindness, concern and care as we navigated an illness that is not common.
Frank was predeceased by his parents Francis X and Martha A (Jacoby) Swift II, the mother of his children Ruth A (Steketee) Swift, his two younger brothers – Richard “Dick” B Swift and Robert “Bob” P Swift, a son-in-law Patrick J Miller and a grandson, Justin Francis Swift.
He is survived by his beloved wife of 23 years, Janese, his loved children Jim (Deb) Swift; Lynda Miller; Dave (Pam) Swift and Lisa (Drew) DeMent; nine grandchildren and eleven great-grandchildren. Additionally, he is survived by his first cousin, who was more like a sister, Marion (Gotz) Ivkovich, sister–in-laws, Mary Swift, Beverly Swift, Sue Funderburg, brother-in-law Walt (Robin) Bruins and many nieces and nephews that were very fond of their Uncle Frank.
Come join us, tell us a story or two, walk with us on our journey of grief as we remember and honor Frank X Swift with a time of Memorial Visitation on Sunday, May 1, 2022 from 3 to 5 pm at Dykstra Funeral Home-Northwood Chapel, 295 Douglas Avenue, Holland, Michigan. A Memorial Service will commence on Monday, May 2, 2022 at 11 am at Christ Our Savior Lutheran Church, 3151 120th Ave., Holland, Michigan, with Pastor Russell Johnson officiating. A light luncheon will follow. A private interment at Pilgrim Home Cemetery will be held at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Wounded Warrior Project, Donor Care Center, PO Box 758541, Topeka, Kansas 66675-8541 (supportwwp.org/wwp) or to Christ Our Savior Lutheran Church at the above address.