Our precious husband, father and friend, Eric Swisher, took flight and entered the joy of Heaven on July 21, 2010. He was surrounded by his family and friends and slipped away peacefully. He was 58.
Eric was born October 15, 1951, in Pocatello, Idaho, to Perry and Nicky Swisher. He attended grades K-12 in Pocatello and graduated from ISU in 1975. He was an adventurous, bright child. As a toddler, he had learned to find his way around the neighborhood, would walk for miles and then find his way back home. He adored reading at a young age and that love for reading continued throughout his life. He held such a strong admiration for his parents, who encouraged him in the many endeavors he attempted. He was very proud to be their son and learned so very much from them.
As a young adult and on a whim one day, Eric joined a traveling circus to play trombone with the circus band. Because he didn't speak the language of the rest of the band members, and also because the band leader had taken off with the music, he learned to play by ear and simply loved it. He also enjoyed jazz and was quite excellent at it.
In 1975, he was sitting in his living room and saw a young woman walking by his home. He was instantly attracted to her and met her for the first time later that day at church. They became best friends and married in 1977. It was a union "made in heaven," lasting 33 bliss-filled years until his death. One of their favorite things to do together as a couple was to mentor young couples in marriage.
He became the beaming father of Nate in 1978, Nick in 1979 and Natalie in 1983. He adored his children and was so very proud of each of them. He then became the grandfather of Amaris and Noah and spoiled them every chance he got. "Papa" especially enjoyed passing along the gift of music to them. They actually began to appreciate unusual artists such as Spike Lee.
In 1973, he gave his life to the Lord Jesus. He loved God with all his heart and served Him with every passing day. He was a tender, kind-hearted man who was adored by so many. He left such a legacy in the lives of his sons and daughter and many other people as well. He was a man of prayer and Bible study, an excellent leader who passed on to many others his awesome love for God. He was an accomplished musician and especially loved to use his music to glorify the Greatest Love of His life -- the Lord. He also loved to encourage others to be creative and explore the God-given possibilities within them.
As a young man, he made an attempt at being a chef, but caught the hotel on fire. He loved working at bookstores but that just didn't pay the bills, so he ended up at the INL as a technical writer for most of his adult life.
He was diagnosed in 2008 with inoperable pancreatic cancer. He was told he only had a short time to live and he said "no way, we'll show them." And he did. He outlived his prognosis by at least a year and a half. It was amazing to all of us, but not once did he complain or feel sorry for himself. He fought with such great courage and amazed us all. He said that he gained so much strength from being wrapped in the prayers of many and was so very grateful for the all the support. He fought all the way to the end -- but carried a deeper hope in his heart of a new beginning. He looked forward to eternity with a twinkling smile.
Eric is survived by his wife and best friend, Lorie Warren Swisher; his sons, Nate (De'Sha) Swisher and Nick Swisher; his daughter, Natalie Swisher; his grandchildren, Amaris and Noah Swisher; his parents, Perry and Nicky Swisher; his brother, Larry Swisher; several nieces and nephews; and his in-laws, Richard and Pat Webber, Debbie Ackerman, Scott and Sherri Lebow and Gene and Diane Warren.
And then there is his "family" at AAH -- he loved them dearly.
We, his family, consider him to be the best husband and father ever. Our hearts ache as we'll miss him dearly, but we rejoice that he is free.
The family would like to acknowledge and thank Dr. Tony Golden and his kind staff whose compassion truly displays going the extra mile! They would also like to thank Dr. Dane Dickson and the staff at Teton Oncology whose support was inexplicable! And not to forget the kindness of Hospice of Eastern Idaho and the staff at Prescription Center Home Care.
Especially we would like to thank all those that stood behind Eric these past two years. Truly we have known the pleasure of being embraced by a "band of brothers." A Celebration of Life will be at 1 p.m. Tuesday, July 28, 2010, at Wood East Side, 963 S. Ammon Road. The family will visit with friends for one hour prior. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to Hospice of Eastern Idaho, 1810 Moran St., Idaho Falls, ID 83401, or the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network -- http://firstgiving.com/eric swisher. Condolences may be sent to the family online at www.woodfuneralhome.com. Services are under the direction of Wood Funeral Home.