Orien Von Swartzwelder

Orien Von Swartzwelder

March 31, 1942 — October 28, 2017

Orien Vondalph “Von” Swartzwelder, 85, of Bluffton, Texas, passed away into the peaceful arms of Jesus at his home Saturday, Oct. 28, 2017.

He was born March 31, 1932, at his family home in Southhampton Township, Chaneysville, Pennsylvania; he was the first son to the late Floyd V. Swartzwelder and his wife Mary (Beck). He is preceded in death by his brother, Zane O. Swartzwelder, of Chaneysville, Pennsylvania.

Von is survived by his lifetime partner and wife for 64 years, Juanita Dahl Swartzwelder, who he met and married, while stationed at Bergstrom Air Force Base in Austin; two daughters, Connie S. Cochran and husband, Michael, of Georgetown, Texas, and Vonda K. Benlock and husband, Mike, of Pflugerville, Texas; granddaughter Karen Brooks Goldapp and husband, Mark, of Austin; grandson Colton V. Brooks and wife, Alison, of Austin; brother & sister in law, Nelson and Jackie Dahl, of Llano, Texas; nieces and nephews, Sherry Dahl Rode of Fredericksburg, Texas, Dewayne Dahl of Round Rock, Texas, and Christine Mills, Joe Swartzwelder and Lenore Swartzwelder of Pennsylvania.

A graduate of Everett High School, Pennsylvania, Von proudly served his country in the USAF during the Korean War. Von was employed as a master mechanic for over 35 years in Maryland, while residing with wife and children in Annandale, Virginia, for over 50 years. Von and Juanita retired to Lake Buchanan in 2005.

Von loved people; he enjoyed social events such as, picnics, BBQs, fish frys, parades as well as fellowship with lodge brothers, In younger times, he was an avid hunter and fisherman, pretty much anywhere he was allowed. He took pleasure in stock car racing from cars he had built. Additionally, he was an avid football fan and Nascar, armchair participant. In his twilight years, he enjoyed watching the wildlife at Lake Buchanan.

His friends were many, diverse and interesting.

Von’s friendliness, kindness and strong work ethic was shown, but not limited to, helping family and friends with “anything that had a motor.” Von was actively involved with Glebe Lodge, Shriners, Masons, American Legion, and Kena Klowns. Von was a faithful servant and active supporter of Shriners Burn and Children’s hospitals.

His Kena Klown unit participated in numerous parades, including the National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade in Washington, DC each spring. And true to Von’s nature, he custom built a very small mini-bike to ride while in full “klown” dress, made to ride, rather than walk the miles of parade routes; also, among his many creative inventions was a fabricated vacuum cleaner, for inflating balloon-twisted characters.

Von transferred his American Legion and Masonic Lodge memberships immediately upon moving to Bluffton, Texas … important he not miss the fellowship or meeting. Never finding a stranger, he quickly made wonderful loyal friendships, which he cherished. His buddies were caring and helpful while providing transportation to and from meetings, checking on his welfare and making sure he didn’t go hungry. Their kindness was endless, for which we are grateful.

Caretaker and friends, Kelly Thomas and daughter, Jessica, were close to Von’s heart as Kelly tirelessly oversaw the last years of Von’s life, making sure he was very well cared for.

A memorial service will be held Saturday, Nov. 11, at 10 a.m. at the Llano American Legion, with pastor Johnny Sawyer presiding.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the American Legion Post 370 Llano, Masonic Lodge 1424 Kingsland, or Cowboy Church in Buchanan Dam, Texas.

Funeral arrangements made under the direction of Waldrope-Hatfield-Hawthorne Funeral Homes Inc., Llano, Texas. E-mail condolences may be sent to whhfuneral1@verizon.net.

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