Charles Schwanda

Charles Schwanda, 92, of Stafford Springs, devoted and loving husband of the late Jean (Cooley) Schwanda, passed away on Wednesday, March 20, 2013.

He was born in Long Island, N.Y., son of the late Benedict and Josephine (Waldman) Schwanda. Charlie was a graduate of Mount Hermon School in 1938 and from Wesleyan University in 1942, lettering in hockey, track, soccer, and golf. He served two years in the U.S. Army during World War II before being discharged for medical reasons. After leaving the service, he was appointed as the Boy Scout district representative for the Eastern Connecticut Council and was later a member of the Troop 48 committee. Charlie worked for the former B. Schwanda & Sons button company as a partner until the company closed up shop in 1967. He then started to work for the Stafford Savings Bank, having been a trustee for over 30 years. He retired from the bank as executive vice president and treasurer in 1982. Charlie retired as a trustee in 1992 and was made a trustee emeritus. Charlie was a member of the Stafford Rotary Club for 40 years, retiring in late 1980, and was a Paul Harris Fellow recipient. He was president of the club in 1950, served on many of the committees, and was later elected an honorary life member. Charlie volunteered in the medical records department of Johnson Memorial Hospital for a total of over 1,200 hours and delivered Meals on Wheels for many years. He was elected corporator of Johnson Memorial Hospital and was a trustee for 30 years. He served as president of the hospital in 1975 when the new hospital was built. He was also the treasurer of the capital funds drive at that time. During his tenure at the hospital, he was on the finance committee, the investment committee, a member of the executive committee for many years, as well as the budget committee. He was one of the original committee members of the hospital golf tournaments. He retired as a trustee from the hospital in 1989 and was elected a trustee emeritus the following year. Charlie was one of the original founders of the Citizens Scholarship Foundation of Stafford when it was organized in September of 1962. He served on the Board of Directors for 25 years. For 15 years, he served on the awards committee and for 10 years was president. Charlie also served one term on the Town of Stafford finance committee and was president of the Stafford Library and member of its investment committee. He was very active in the Stafford Springs Congregational Church, having served as treasurer for over 20 years, trustee for many years, and was a trustee emeritus. Charlie was an avid golfer, having won the club championship at the former Stafford Golf Club, was captain of the team at Wesleyan, and played for more than 70 years. Above all, family was always most important to Charlie and his Jean. They both cherished their family greatly. In retirement, he and Jean loved to travel and were pleased to be able to take each of their grandchildren on a Caribbean cruise. Charlie's life was marked by caring for others. God saved him from a burst aortic aneurysm in 2002 so he could continue to care for his wife and brothers, Ben and Alan.

Charlie is survived by his five children, Carol Colton, and her husband, Michael, of Portland, Maine, Peggy Schwanda of Newington, Joan Formeister, and her husband, Frank, of Somers, John Schwanda, and his wife, Janet, of Freeport, Maine, and Betty Anderson of Vernon; 15 grandchildren, Amy and John Colton, Ivan Schwanda, Jessica, Jenna (Cormier), Marc, and Eric Formeister, Kurt, Peter, Wade, and Caitlin Schwanda, and Jeremy, Sarah, Jonathan, and Jordan Anderson; six great-grandchildren, Denmark, Josephine, Natalie, Julia, Irene, and Giovanni; and numerous nieces and nephews.

The family will receive relatives and friends at the Stafford Springs Congregational Church, 3 Main St., Stafford Springs, on Saturday, April 6, 2013, from noon to 1 p.m. with a memorial service to take place at 1 p.m.

Memorial donations may be made to the Charles and Jean Schwanda Memorial Fund, Citizens Scholarship Foundation of Stafford, c/o Rose Roszczewski, P.O. Box 25, Stafford Springs, CT 06076.

Introvigne Funeral Home Inc., Stafford Springs, has care of the arrangements.

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Published in Journal Inquirer from Mar. 22 to Mar. 26, 2013