Jerome Valentine "Swisher" Swiderski, age 71, of Lawrence Park, Erie Pa., died peacefully Thursday afternoon, December 6, 2012, at his daughter's home, in Harborcreek, Pa. Jerry was born February 14, 1941, in Corry, Pa., and is a member of St. Peter Cathedral in Erie, Pa. Jerry was raised in Jamestown, N.Y. He was the son of the late Joseph and Emma (Spickler) Swiderski. He graduated from Jamestown High School, class of 1959, and continued his education as an Apprentice at GE, in Erie, Pa. He was a GE machinist instructor and retired from GE after a long career as a Planner. He was active in local causes and served 15 official years as a volunteer firefighter for Lawrence Park and 35 years as a social member. Jerry held every Truck and Table office while in the volunteer fire department, and he stunk at poker. Jerry had a major love of the outdoors and nature, and enjoyed hiking with friends in the Allegheny Forest, with very special memories of the hikes he took with his kids. Jerry also enjoyed his annual week long visits with old firemen friends in Edinboro, Pa. He was preceded in death by his sister Joanne Laird, his brother John Swiderski, his daughter Romaine Rea (Rick Rea), and his great-grandson Harvey Rea. He is survived by his former wife Joan Swiderski (Wozneak) from Lawrence Park, Pa, his brother Joseph Swiderski from Jamestown, N.Y., his daughters Paula Cassady from Lawrence Park, Pa., and his daughter Theresa Peterman and her husband Scott from Harborcreek, Pa., his son Paul and his wife Valerie (Mariano) from Patterson, Calif., his son Joel and his wife Sharrie (Sins) from Eagle River, Alaska, his son Steven and his wife Annette (Stermer) from Beavercreek, Ohio, and his son Shane and Marty Smith from Champaign, Ill. Jerry also had 15 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. The Swiderski family expresses their sincere gratitude to Great Lakes Hospice for helping Jerry to pass on painlessly, with abundant kindness and compassion. Family will receive friends from 2:00â€"4:00 and 6:00â€"8:00 p.m., Wednesday, December 12, 2012, at G. R. Bailey Funeral Home, 4396 Iroquois Ave., Erie, PA 16511. Prayer services will follow at 8:00 p.m., with Rev. Msgr. Daniel Arnold officiating. Jerry will be buried at Mary, Queen of Peace Cemetery.
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Published in the Erie Times-News on Dec. 10, 2012