John “Jack” Franklin Swisher, age 90, a 57-year resident of Geneva, passed away Thursday, July 22, 2021, at his home in Geneva surrounded by his family.
He was born February 24, 1931, in Moline, Illinois, the son of John and Evelyn (Bly) Swisher.
John graduated from Rock Island High School in 1950, then proudly served his country in the United States Army, 1st Infantry Division (The Big Red One) stationed in Schweinfurt, Germany. After returning from his military service, he married his high school sweetheart, Charleen, and then attended Utah State where he studied Botany/Forestry. He began his professional career working for Thiokol Chemical Corporation, Brigham City, UT. But, he was able to secure his dream job by returning to Illinois and working as a horticulturist for nearly 30 years at the Morton Arboretum. John had many hobbies from gardening, sports (especially the Chicago Blackhawks) and reading, but he was most passionate about nature and spending times outdoors. He loved taking trips to his favorite spot in Wyoming to hike, fish and bird watch, specifically for bald eagles. He was also a falconer but loved to work with all birds of prey. He was publicly recognized in this field when he personally discovered an “eagles roost” in Box Elder County, Utah indicating the sign of the return of the bald eagle. Many articles were written about his discovery including the Wilson Bulletin (1964). The Audubon Society subsequently named it the “Swisher Roost”. However, his greatest enjoyment in life was spending time with his family and friends. He will be dearly missed.
He is survived by his loving wife of nearly 67 years Charleen (Manuel); children Jane Deese of Florida and John R. (Gena) Swisher of Minnesota; grandchildren Seth (Jennifer) Nelson, Eric Lotzer, Victoria Lotzer, Samuel Swisher, Carly Swisher and Zachary Swisher; great-grandson Graham Nelson; nephews Steven Swisher, Sean Swisher, Scott Swisher and Trent Carpenter; sister-in-law Barbara (Daryl) Carpenter of Alabama; many cousins and other dear relatives and friends.
He was preceded in death by his infant son, Jeffery, parents, brother William Swisher, in-laws Richard and Leona Manuel, and his grandparents Charles and Cora Swisher who raised him.
A visitation for John will be held Saturday, September 4, 2021 at Malone Funeral Home, 324 E. State Street (Route 38) Geneva, Illinois from 1:00 – 3:00pm. A memorial service will be held at 3:00 pm officiated by Father Michael Rasicci.
In lieu of flowers, memorials would be appreciated to The Wilderness Society, 1801 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Suite 200, Washington, DC 20006, or Morton Arboretum 4100 IL-53, Lisle, IL 60532 or St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, 5501 N Cumberland Ave #101, Chicago, IL 60656.
For more information, please call 630-232-8233 or visit malonefh.com.