Arlyn W. Swiger, formerly of Geneseo, died Sunday, Sept. 15, 2013, in Palo Alto, Calif. Services will be held at Oakwood Cemetery, Geneseo at 10:30 a.m. Friday, Sept. 27.
He was born in Munson Township on Nov. 12, 1936, the son of Eldon F. and Olive R. Swiger. He was raised on a farm, and as the vice president of Geneseo High School’s Future Farmers of America, once met and shook hands with former president Harry S Truman.
After graduating from Geneseo High School, he worked briefly as a printer’s apprentice and then joined the Army. As an instructor at the U.S. Army’s Ordnance Guided Missile School in Huntsville, Ala., he taught soldiers how to use and maintain the world’s first guided missile, the Corporal. During his work at the Redstone Arsenal in Alabama, he met former president Dwight D. Eisenhower. After three years in the Army, he was honorably discharged and spent the next decade working for RCA, including stints overseas. In 1971, he moved to Milpitas, Calif. and worked as a civilian for the Department of Defense until his retirement in 1993.
He also took night classes and received an associate of science degree, with highest honors, from Foothill College in 1976. He first worked for the Naval Aviation Engineering Services Unit (NAESU) and traveled the Western Pacific, servicing the P3 aircraft fleet. In 1983, he transferred to Commander Patrol Wings Pacific, where he tested and repaired equipment and aircraft related to anti-submarine warfare. He received commendations from the Secretary of the Army and the Department of Defense for his service during the Cold War.
After his retirement, Mr. Swiger became involved in local politics and city administration. Mr. Swiger most recently served on the City of Milpitas Emergency Preparedness Commission and also was a founding member of the Milpitas Sister Cities Commission.
Although he had the mind of an engineer and could fix just about anything (especially if he had a blueprint), he also had a poetic side and wrote haiku in his spare time. He always had a jigsaw puzzle or a Lego creation in progress on the living room table. He also enjoyed investing, bicycling, walking and spending time with his grandchildren.
Survivors include his daughters and sons-in-law, Kimi (Manuel) de Leonibus and Tami Swiger (Paul Coyne); and his grandchildren, Daniel and Matteo de Leonibus and Elinor Swiger-Coyne, all of San Jose, Calif.; his sisters, Berneita Hunter of Moline and Jean (Everett) Pinnick of Cambridge; and his brother, Marvin (Anita) Swiger of Geneseo. He is deeply missed.
Friends and family are invited to leave condolences or memories online at http://awswiger.blogspot.com.