William E. “Bill” Swern
William E. “Bill” Swern, 95, of Rockville, passed away at 11:30 a.m. on Thursday, May 18, at his home on his cherished family farm.
He was born Oct. 2, 1921, in Kokomo, to the late William E. Swern and Elizabeth Riley Swern. He attended McKinley Grade School until his family moved to Parke County in April of 1930. He attended Judson Graded and Marshall High School. He then served with the U.S. Navy during World War II, later graduating from Purdue University in 1949. He was a district conservationist of the USDA Soil Conservation Service, retiring in 1980. He began his career with the Soil Conservation Service in December of 1950 in Madison County and worked for a short time in Wayne County. He worked for the Soil and Water Conservation District in Hendricks County from 1966 to 1975.
From 1975 to 1980 he served as RC&D coordinator with the Arrow Head Country RC&D in Northwest Indiana. While in Pulaski County, he worked with a committee that set up a recycling program and served on the board until the county took over the program.
He was a member of the Rockville First United Methodist Church and Rockville Rotary Club. During his career he received many awards and citations including: 1988 Hoosier Chapter Soil and Water Conservation Society Service Award, 1988/1992 International Soil and Water Conservation Society Commendation Awards, 1990 Paul Harris Fellow Award, 1991 Parke County 4-H Leader of the Year, 1992 Commendation Award Soil and Water Conservation Society, 1993 Indianapolis Star Jefferson Award, 1999 SCCS Prestigious Honor Award, 2000 Purdue Agriculture Alumni Association Certificate of Distinction Award, 2007 NRCS Earth Team Award, 2009 Parke County SWCD Distinguished Service Award, and 2009 Association of Retired Soil Conservation Service Employees Award of Outstanding Community Service.
Active in community affairs, he served 15 years as the administrative secretary/treasurer for Hoosier Chapter Soil and Water Conservation Society, treasurer of Parke County Ag Day Committee, Parke County Park Board, serving two terms as Trustee of Rockville First United Methodist Church, 10 years as a 4-H photography project leader, associate supervisor of Parke County Soil and Water Conservation District and Earth Team volunteer, treasurer of Parke County Historical Society and Sycamore Trails RC&D Forestry committee.
Survivors include his sister Marianne Karpovich of Caro, Michigan; nieces and nephews: Paul and Kathy Gwizdala, Michael and Pam Karpovich, Chris and Julie Karpovich and Lisa Sanchez; great-nieces and nephews: Roman and Brandon Karpovich, and Xandrea Muniz.
Visitation is from 9 a.m. until 11 a.m. Friday at Gooch Funeral Home. Services will be 11 a.m. Friday, May 26, at Gooch Funeral Home, 112 W. Howard St., Rockville, with Pastor Bryan Wisdom officiating. Burial will follow at 3 p.m. at Spring Vale Cemetery in Lafayette.
Memorials, should friends so desire, may be made to the Parke County Historical Society in care of Parke County Community Foundation, P.O. Box 276, Rockville, IN 47872 in his memory.
Online condolences may be shared at www.goochfuneralhome.com.
(Pulaski County Journal — May 24, 2017)