Donald Lee Swisher

Oct. 23, 1931 – March 9, 2022

A life very well lived for 90 years ended on March 9, 2022, when Donald Lee Swisher left this world to join his wife, Faye and son, Duane.

Mr. Swisher was born on Oct. 23, 1931, in Boone County, Ind. to Wyvone (“Pete”) and Mary Swisher.

On a recent, short stay in a hospital cardiac unit, before he returned home as he wished, his care providers had no idea how much he would enjoy sharing the story of his life’s work. He ran a local grocery store when he was only 17. He left his grocery store to join the Air Force when called to serve his country in the Korean War. After the service, Mr. Swisher worked for a home builder before he took a job at RR Donnelley & Sons.

While he always appreciated hearing “thank you for your service,” he never felt that he needed to be “thanked.” He often described his Air Force service as the greatest four years of his life. He traveled the world, leaving Dover, Ind. far behind to experience life in Guam and Greenland. He excelled at Parks College of Aeronautical Technology in St. Louis, and, while stationed in Roswell, New Mexico, he gave rides to a young, guitar-toting hitch hiker named Elvis.

His life after the service truly began when he whistled, from his perch on a press at Donnelley’s, at a “mail girl” named Faye. They were married in Parkersburg and lived in Crawfordsville, where they made a wonderful, happy life for their son Duane and daughter Deanna. While working swing shift had its challenges, generous vacations from Donnelley’s were a fantastic opportunity for family travel, usually driving west, to camp and enjoy national parks and natural wonders and wildlife throughout America.

Working as a pressman at Donnelley’s was a great fit for his mechanical talents, attention to detail, and appreciation of a good prank on a co-worker. When he retired, his family had to wonder how he ever had time for a full-time job. He was always busy – refinishing antiques, caning chairs, and repairing and rebuilding everything in sight. When he took a break, it was for travel, so that he and Faye could experience Hawaii, Alaska, and Europe.

His ultimate passion, which earned him the nickname “the Bike Man,” occupied most of the last two decades of his life. He enjoyed the work of preparing each bicycle for its next owner, and he loved every opportunity to help someone find the right bike – especially if they were looking for a bike for their child. He got so much pleasure out of his driveway conversations with everyone that stopped by to find a bike or needed part, find out what they needed to do to fix their bike, or marvel at the number of bicycles that he could fit in his garage. Mr. Swisher particularly appreciated it when one of “Duane’s swimmers” stopped by or paused to chat when he was running errands in town, to share stories about the positive influence that his son, their coach Swish, had on their lives.

His talents, and the extraordinary benefit of having him as a role model, lives on in his daughter Deanna Swisher and her husband Nick Stonebrook, and their children Ian and Devon, as well as his grandson Ty Swisher, his wife Amber, and their sons Brecken, Osborne and Keldon.

Three of Don’s brothers, Herschel, Bob and Harold, left this world before Don, leaving their youngest brother Chuck to tell the tales of five brothers growing up on the family farm.

Please join his family to celebrate Don’s life on Saturday March 19, at Hunt & Son Funeral Home, 107 N. Grant Avenue, Crawfordsville. Visitation is scheduled from noon until 2 p.m., with a memorial service and burial of his ashes to follow.

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