George "Fish" Swanke

George "Fish" Swanke, 87, of Great Falls, a World War II Army veteran, died Thursday at a local hospital of complications from an auto accident on Dec. 24.
Entombment has taken place at Hillcrest Lawn Mausoleum, next to his wife, Agnes. A celebration of his life is 4 p.m. Saturday at the Side Track Lounge. Chapel of Chimes Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
Survivors include a son, Scott (Micki) Swanke of Great Falls; a sister, Doris Pickolick of Arlee; brothers-in-law Hugh Reynolds of Harlowton and Clarence Hereim of California; and grandchildren Cailie (Rob) Buckingham of Flagstaff, Ariz., and Amy (Matt) Alsbury of Victorville, Calif.
He was preceded in death by his beloved wife, Agnes Swanke, and a daughter, Colleen Swanke.
George was born April 29, 1923, in Dodson, Mont. He was raised in Two Dot, Mont., and graduated from Harlowton High School in 1941. Following graduation, George joined the U.S. Army, fought in WWII, and was present on the shores of Normandy Beach.
He married Agnes Hereim on Aug. 7, 1946. Agnes was the love of his life until her death on March 15, 1995. He always said he could never love another woman and now they are rejoined in the forever-after.
George was a truck driver for a few years and then joined the Civil Service in 1951 at Malmstrom Air Force Base, where he worked for the next 33 years of his life.
After his retirement in 1985, he and his beloved "Ag" spent their time fishing and camping at Holter Lake, bowling every week and having annual Christmas open houses. After 1995, "Fish" still spent weekends at Holter Lake, but driving started to be his favorite pastime. He would go to see his many acquaintances in the "coulee", Highwood, Belt, and Monarch. He also made many trips to Harlowton to play pinochle with his brother- and sister-in-law, Hugh and Lydia, and to Arlee to play Pitch with his sister, Doris. For "Fish," driving 100 miles a day was not unusual.
For all the times Fish picked Scott up from his daily runs, and the errands he gladly did for us, for all the stories of France, the sense of humor and the dinners together, George Swanke will be greatly missed by many, especially by his son and daughter-in-law.
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Funeral Home

Chapel of Chimes Funeral Home
1219 - 13th Street South Great Falls, MT 59405
(406) 452-3131

Published in Great Falls Tribune on Jan. 31, 2011