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James Henry Swartzell Sr.

1936 - 2021


James “Jim” Swartzell Sr., 84, passed away Saturday, March 27, 2021, at Azria Health in Blue Hill, Nebraska.

Services will be held in May in Rensselaer, Indiana. In honoring his wish to be cremated there is no viewing or visitation. DeWitt Funeral Home and Cremation Service is handling arrangements.

Memorials may be directed to The American Kidney Foundation at

Jim was born April 7, 1936 in Hammond, Indiana. He was the second son of Henry and Joy (Schwark) Swartzell. After graduation from Hobart High School he joined the U.S. Air Force where he served from 1954 to 1963. Jim liked to talk about his services days – especially when stationed in Antarctica and the 24-hour flight through the Bermuda Triangle to Africa.

He married Mary Jane Williams on June 23, 1963 in Rensselaer, Indiana and the couple moved to Highland, Michigan in 1965. Jim worked for General Motors on the truck and bus lines and retired in 1993. He was an amateur radio operator and in retirement worked part-time at K-Mart in White Lake, served on the board of the Highland Township Senior Center, and he and his wife were founding members of the Highland Township Historical Society. James was involved in the Boy Scouts of America as a Council Commissioner, Unit Commissioner, and Explorer Post Advisor when his children were growing up. He enjoyed taking them to many sporting events as well as camping and fishing. He had a mechanical mind and could fix or build almost anything.

Jim is survived by his children, Heather (Joe) Bolte and James Swartzell Jr.; grandchildren, Gabriela, Jeremy, and Loren; great-grandchild, Zoe (and one on the way); along with nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Mary Jane; parents, Henry & Jo; in-laws, Al & Sarah Jane; daughter-in-law, Jennifer; brother, William Sr; sister-in-law, Carolyn; and nephew, Will.

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DeWitt Funeral Home & Cremation Services

1247 North Burlington Avenue, Hastings, NE

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Margaret Foote

May 13, 2021 12:04 AM

I enjoyed many visits with Jim through Midland area Agency on Aging. Jim was a delight to visit with and to get to know! 

Dianne Buss

April 17, 2021 9:36 PM
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Jim will be missed.  He was always nice to everyone and he loved to sing. 

A Memorial Tree was planted for James Henry Swartzell Sr.

April 6, 2021 2:48 PM
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