James William Swartz- 07/08/1936 -09/17/2019
James William Swartz passed away, at home, on September 17, 2019, at the age of 83.
Jim, as he liked to be called, was born July 8, 1936 in Gillette, Wyoming, to Lee Marchies and Edythe Mildred (Carlson) Swartz. The family lived on sheep and cattle ranches outside of Gillette, Wyoming, and Recluse, Montana until 1945 when they moved to the family hay and dairy farm in in Sheridan, Wyoming where Jim completed his childhood.
Jim attended grade school at the Wakeley School from 3rd – 8th grade and graduated from Sheridan High School in 1954. He continued his education at Northern Wyoming Community College (NWCC), for one year before joining the U.S. Army as a Private in 1955. After Basic Training in Colorado, Jim lived in Texas, New Mexico and Oklahoma, firing and maintaining some of the first guided missiles. He was discharged as a Specialist Third Class in 1957 and returned to Sheridan.
That fall, Jim returned to NWCC, receiving and Associate of Arts Degree in 1958. He went on to earn his Bachelor of Science Degree in Agronomy from the University of Wyoming in 1960 and a Master of Sciences in 1962. He married Patricia Bode in 1961 in Burns, Wyoming and they later divorced in 1985.
After Graduation Jim was hired by the University to operate their Soils Testing Laboratory in Torrington. He moved to Colorado as an Area Agronomist with Tri River Extension and joined the USDA Soil Conservation Service in 1971. He was promoted to District Conservationist in 1972 and to Resource Conservationist and Development Coordinator for northwestern Colorado and a portion of Wyoming in 1986.
During the late 70s and early 80s Jim served as a Boy Scout Leader. He enjoyed various activities including fishing, traveling, remodeling his home, photography, gardening and yard work. Jim especially enjoyed square dancing and served as the Colorado State Square Dancing President in 1983. He met Carol Ann (Steinert) while dancing and they were married in 1987. Jim retired in 1995 while living in Rifle, Colorado.
Jim was a life member of the Elks, joining in 1972 and transferring his membership several times, most recently to Sheridan, Wyoming. He served in various chairs of the Monte Vista Lodge and was the 1983-1984 Exalted Ruler
Jim is survived by his two sons James William Swartz, Jr. (wife of Norma and son Andrew), and Robert Alan Swartz (wife Beth and sons Kevin and Matthew); his wife Carol Ann (Steinert) Swartz and former wife Mrs. Patricia Henderson. He is preceded in death by his parent, Lee and Edythe Swartz and two brothers, Robert Lee Swartz and Theodore Jay Swartz.
A celebration of life will be held at Champion Funeral Home on Monday, October 7, 2019, at 10:00 AM, followed by internment at Sheridan Memorial Cemetery with a reception to follow at the Elks Lodge. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Sheridan Elks Lodge #520 (Cemetery Fund), 45 W. Brundage St. or the Hub on Smith, (for Home Delivered Meals), 211 Smith St. Online condolences may be written at www.championfh.com. Champion Funeral Home has been entrusted with local arrangements.