Gerald Nelson "Gerry" Swingle, 97, of Heritage Village in Gerry, N.Y., formerly of South Canaan, died Friday at the Heritage Village Rehabilitation Center following a brief illness. He was the devoted husband of the former Esther Mae Petersen. They celebrated 72 years of marriage on Nov. 22.
Born March 24, 1917, in Port Jervis, N.Y., he was the son of the late John Nelson and Jennie Schoonover Swingle. As a young boy, he moved to Varden, and then settled in South Canaan, where he owned a small farm and lived most of his life. He later moved to Moscow before taking up residence at Heritage Village in 2008.
A bus driver and contractor for more than 54 years, he owned and operated the Daleville Bus Co. in Scranton, and was a private school bus contractor for many years. He was also employed for 12 years with the Price Bus Co. in Scranton, and drove a bus in the Western Wayne School District before retirement.
Gerald was an active, dedicated member of the South Canaan Free Methodist Church for 91 years, where he held many positions, including Sunday school superintendent, trustee, board member and greeter. He also represented the Free Methodist Church at annual conferences, serving on many boards and committees.
He will be remembered as a hard working, honest and faithful Christian gentleman, who was very kind and giving. He enjoyed gardening, driving, hunting and fishing.
In addition to his wife, he is survived by two sons, James Swingle and wife, Sue, Gates, N.Y.; and Bruce Swingle and wife, Digna, Amsterdam, N.Y.; seven grandchildren; and several great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren.
He was also preceded in death by his daughter, Linda Kehm; a half-brother and two half-sisters.
The funeral and celebration of life services will be held Saturday at 11 a.m. at the South Canaan Free Methodist Church, 19 St. Tikhons Road, South Canaan, conducted by the Rev. William Rushik, pastor. Interment will be at Kizer Cemetery in Cortez. Arrangements are entrusted to the Jenkins Funeral Home, Waymart.
The family will receive friends Saturday from 10 to 11 a.m. in the east room of the church.
Memorial contributions may be made to the South Canaan Free Methodist Church, P.O. Box 35, South Canaan, PA 18459.