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Obituary: David Swetman

Published in The Union, December 30, 2015

The world lost one of its brightest lights on December 4, 2015 when David LeRoy Swetman passed away peacefully in the arms of his beloved wife, Bonnie Hertlein-Swetman at their home in Smartsville, CA. David was born June 22, 1956 in Chicago, Illinois, to the late Richard Lee Swetman and Ellen Alice Swetman. Living life full-throttle, sharing his truth, warmth and love freely, David’s greatest joy was making those around him more comfortable, happy and aware on their own path. He delighted in laughter and mischief, and effortlessly shared his wisdom and compassion with those in need. David’s passion for connecting with others helped shape the chapters of his life. He co-founded the Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington, IL when he was just 18 years old. He studied sociology and psychology, receiving Bachelor’s degrees in both subjects in 1978, and his MA in Clinical Psychology in 1979. Later, as Chaplain at Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital, David’s reach brought comfort to countless patients and their families, staff members and volunteers. A lover of sports and the great outdoors, David enjoyed spending time fishing, gardening, working on their land or walking the property with Bonnie. He was an avid adventurer and spent a year of life travelling the world. He was also a musician, playing guitar, singing and writing love songs.

In addition to his wife, David is survived by his brothers Richard (Susan) Swetman of Mt. Vernon, WA; Daniel (Robin) Swetman of McDonough, GA; and Dale Swetman of Hampshire, IL; sister Ellen Gibson (Brent) of Continental, OH; and aunts, nieces, nephews and cousins. David provided an example of how to live life fully, as well as how to die consciously. He lovingly built a large extended family of friends, and his love will continue to shine on in the hearts of those who knew him. David’s family would like to extend deepest gratitude to all those who encircled them during the past year of David’s life with ALS. A Celebration of Life will be held in early summer of 2016. In the meantime, memorial contributions may be made to: Compassionate Care ALS (CCALS),P.O. Box 1052, West Falmouth, MA 02574, (508) 444-6775.