Father John A. Swartz, PhD
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age, 75, passed away Friday evening Feb. 7, 2014 at Aultman Compassionate Care Center. John was born in Canton, Ohio on May 2, 1938 to the late Elmer and Marguerite Swartz, he graduated from Central Catholic High School in 1956. After attending St. Gregory and St. Mary's Seminaries in Cincinnati, he was ordained a Catholic Priest in 1965 by the Diocese of Youngstown. Holding two Master's degrees (Philosophy; Biblical Language- Literature), Father John furthered his education and in 1978 received his Ph.D. in Media from Ohio State University.
Following Ordination, John was Parochial Vicar of Sacred Heart Parish in Youngstown (1965-1966) and then taught at Ursuline High School from 1966-1975. He continued his teaching assignments at Mercyhurst College in Erie, Pa., St. John's Seminary in Plymouth, Mich. and Sam Houston State University in Texas where he spent the last twenty years as a professor of Media. Father John included several students on two archeological campaigns in the Middle East with the Smithsonian and taught in summer programs at Boston College, Marquette University, the University of Minnesota and the University of San Francisco. Though living over much of the United States, John was most proud of Canton. He retired as Professor Emeritus in 2002. Here in his hometown, he was involved as Webmaster on the Board of the Wagner Society of Ohio. Involved in several City and County projects, Father John created the 'Canton Greats' website which was linked to the City Hall site. He was involved in the Socrates Group, Canton Symphony Orchestra, Canton Art Museum, Canton Restoration Society and the Canton Garden Club, obtaining a rank of Master Gardener. With Competitive Action of Kokomo, Indiana, he served as a consultant in workshops nationally and internationally. John published several books, The Electric Bible I and II, The Teacher as Aladdin and Mountains throw Shadows: the Rushmore Presidents. He completed two CD's - Rembrandt, Brushes with History and another Hal, on multimedia. He was proud to be an alumnus of Ohio State and followed the Buckeyes in football and basketball, attending games when he could. As a friend, he was wonderful and caring. He always kept in touch with those special to him. No matter where life took you, John was there in support by your side. As a teacher, he remained friends with many of his former students following their careers over time. He was open to everyone no matter what age, sex or race. He just loved people.
Besides his parents, John was preceded in death by his sisters Joan Childers, Mary Lashley and nephew Greg Swartz. He is survived by his brother James (Kathleen) Swartz and his sister Marcia (Fred) Moses as well as several nieces, nephews, cousins and numerous friends.
Mass of Christian Burial will be held Tuesday at 11:00 a.m. in St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church. Burial will follow in Calvary. Friends may call Monday 5-8:00 p.m. in the Williams Funeral Home and Tuesday 10-11:00 a.m. at the church. A Prayer service lead by Fr. Tom Bishop will be held Monday at 7:30 p.m.
John's family would like to express their gratitude and thanks to the staff at the Aultman Compassionate Care Center for their outstanding care.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to St. Joan of Arc Food Cupboard, 4940 Tuscarawas Street West, Canton, OH 44708 or the Canton Museum of Art, 1001 Market Avenue North, Canton, OH 44702. Those wishing to share a fond memory or their condolences may sign the online guestbook at www.dwilliamsfh.com.
Williams Funeral Home and
Williams Funeral Home - Canton
2508 West Tuscarawas Street Canton, OH 44708
Published in The Repository on Feb. 9, 2014