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Robert W. Swift

Obituary for Robert W. Swift

August 28, 1925 - July 1, 2018
Carmel, Indiana | Age 92


Robert W. Swift of Carmel, passed away Sunday July 1st. He was born in Rushville, IN on August 28, 1925 to Minnie and Austin Swift. Bob grew up as an enterprising farm boy working on his family's and other nearby farms. Making his own crystal radio set from scratch, in the evenings, his neighbors asked Bob to make them one and he earned extra money during the Depression Days. Bob was drafted into the Army in 1944 and his skills with farm animals had the Army training him as a mule packer for mountain warfare. The Army decided against using pack mules and Bob was sent to Medic training and was assigned to the 71st Inf. Div. Arriving in Normandy shortly after D-Day, Bob and the 71st Div soon became part of the US 3rd Army and he proudly called himself for the rest of his life to be "One of Patton's Boys". The 71st Div took Bob through; France, Germany, Austria and Czechoslovakia. Shortly before the end of the war during an advance, Bob's field hospital unit was captured by Nazis and having no place to hold the GI's imprisoned them in the Dachau concentration camp. The Nazis had the Americans burying Holocaust Jews. Luckily the camp was liberated by American forces within a few days and the Field Hospital began treating surviving Jews. He was awarded 2 Bronze Star medals and the Combat Medic Badge (the Medic's equivalent to a Combat Infantry Badge). He was wounded by shrapnel twice and was too busy treating wounded, so he bandaged himself, continued with serving GI's and never reported his wounds. After the war, Bob became a professional photographer and studied at Indiana University. He became a project manager for Clifford Engineering running utility projects throughout the Great Lakes area. A turn to Sales led him to a long career as a Pharmaceutical Rep retiring from Bayer in the mid 80's. Bob soon started his own company called Med-Rep, producing and distributing non-alcoholic mouthwash, carbon dioxide tablets, alcohol testing strips and many other product lines. Bob was heavily involved in Boy Scout troop 102 at the King of Glory Lutheran Church for over 20 years. One of his greatest joys was his Son and 3 Grandsons becoming Eagle Scouts. In his later years, Bob focused on telling the story of the American GI's of WWII. He lectured and put on show and tells for elementary and high school classes. He loved to attend the annual 71st Division yearly reunions and was delighted as Holocaust Survivors began attending the reunions to thank the GI's.

Bob was preceded in death by his wife Alice and is survived by; sons Val (Jennifer) and Von (Holly), daughter Vanessa Swift. Seven grandchildren; Jason, Austin, Kathleen, Jerry, Robby, Shannon and Tom Swift and 4 great grandchildren, Mackenzie, Madeline, Mallorie and Marshall.

Visitation will be held Saturday July 7th from Noon to 2 PM at King of Glory Lutheran Church at 106th St & Keystone Parkway in Carmel. Funeral service will also be at King of Glory at 2 PM

Private burial will occur Monday July 9th at 11 Am at Willow Grove Cemetery in Fountain City, IN. The family asks that in lieu of flowers, donations to the Boy Scouts or King of Glory Lutheran church be made in Bob's memory.

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