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Obituary: John Swank, Franklin

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John Swank

John Swank has fulfilled his lifelong mission; he has gone to be with his Lord and Savior.

There will be fewer stories told with the flair and grace of our John Swank, and the singing will be missed by all who knew him.

Dr. John G. Swank, professor emeritus at the University of Indianapolis, passed away peacefully Feb. 3, 2013, at age 95.

John was born in Gary and proudly served his country in the U.S. Navy during World War II.

Although he held many jobs throughout his life, none made him more proud than being an ordained minister in the United Methodist Church and teaching in the communication department at the University of Indianapolis (1964-1982).

He was a longtime member of University Heights United Methodist church and taught Sunday school there for more than 30 years. Students of all ages enjoyed his teaching.

John earned his bachelor’s degree from Otterbein University; master’s degrees from United Theological Seminary and the University of Michigan, and at the age of 76, he completed his doctorate in ministry from Trinity Evangelical Seminary.

In 1987, he was named an honorary alumnus at the University of Indianapolis, an honor he was so proud of.

He was a 50-year member of the Masons and also a member of Scottish Rite and Shrine.

Having lived in northern Indiana and Michigan for a number of years, John grew to love hunting and fishing. Known to tell an occasional “fish story,” he did catch “the big one” while living in Florida during his retirement.

John also enjoyed golf, especially during retirement, playing until age 91.

John was an avid fan of University of Indianapolis athletics, even being willing to shout his “suggestions” from the stands. “Throw the bomb” was a favorite during football season.

No one could tell a story or joke like John Swank — sometimes he’d get so tickled he’d be laughing before he could deliver the punch line. He will be remembered for his sweet smile, infectious laugh and sense of humor.

John was preceded in death by his wife Eleanor (2004) and wife Margaret (1955); and brothers Harold and Robert.

He is survived by daughters JoAnn (John) Canniff and Vicky Swank; dear family friend Sue Willey; and furry companions Snoopy and Echo.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to University Heights United Methodist Church or the Greyhound Club at the University of Indianapolis.

A celebration of life service will be conducted at 2 p.m. Tuesday at University Heights Methodist Church, 4002 Otterbein Ave., Indianapolis. The family will greet friends at noon Tuesday at the church. There will be no calling.

The family would like to thank the staff of the Franklin United Methodist Community for their wonderful care and compassion.

Information: www.littleandsonsindianapolis.com

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