Charles Pilkington Swatek, of Abingdon, passed away Nov. 18, 2020 after a complicated, months-long battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 76.
Charlie had a natural warmth and curiosity for anyone that crossed his path. He loved meeting new people and spending time with family and friends.
Whenever he had the chance, Charlie loved nothing more than hopping in the car and taking a drive, often a back-roads journey to a yet-to-be-determined destination, with anyone who was willing to come along.
He loved listening to classical music and playing golf. He was a passionate sports fan and an avid follower of the football and men's basketball teams at the University of Pittsburgh.
Charlie was born June 30, 1944 in Pittsburgh, Pa. He graduated from Avonworth High School in Pittsburgh and attended Hamilton College in upstate New York before enlisting in the U.S. Army. He earned a Purple Heart and Bronze star for his service during the Vietnam War. He later graduated from the University of Pittsburgh in 1971.
During a geography class at Pitt, he met Barbara DeLost, whom he married on June 29, 1974. Together, they raised three children.
The family traveled the country for leisure and through Charlie's job as a salesman of 30 years for Bethlehem Steel. He worked in Bethlehem offices in Greensboro, N.C., Pittsburgh, Pa. Cleveland, Ohio, Dallas and Houston, Texas before settling in the Bel Air, Md. area in May of 1993 for an office job at Bethlehem's Sparrows Point plant.
Charlie was preceded in death by his father, Edwin Paul Swatek Jr., his mother, Catherine Crutchfield Swatek, and nephew, Steve Swatek.
He is survived by his wife, Barbara, his three children, Gregory, Charlotte (husband Zachary) and Brian (fiancée Molly), his two grandchildren, Caroline and Nathan Sandkuhler, his brother, Paul (wife Linda), his sister, Catherine, brother-in-law Tony (wife Bev), two nieces and their families, and dozens of cousins.
The family will hold a service to celebrate Charlie's life at a later date. Condolences and memories may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Donations can be made in his memory to the Veteran's Affairs Maryland Healthcare System. Checks should be mailed with "In Memory of Charles Swatek" and account number 1049 on the memo line to 10 N. Greene Street, Baltimore, MD 21201.
Published in Baltimore Sun on Nov. 25, 2020.