Friday, September 20, 2013

In Memoriam

Arlyn W. Swiger, 1936 - 2013

Arlyn W. Swiger, a Milpitas resident since 1970, passed away on September 15, 2013 at the VA hospice in Palo Alto, California. Mr. Swiger most recently served on the City of Milpitas Emergency Preparedness Commission and was also a founding member of the Sister Cities Commission, on which he served for ten years.

Arlyn Swiger was born in Munson Township, Henry County, Illinois on November 12, 1936 to Eldon F. and Olive R. Swiger. He was raised on a farm, and as the vice-president of his high school chapter of the Future Farmers of America, once met and shook hands with former president Harry S. Truman.

After graduating from Geneseo High School in Geneseo, Illinois, he worked briefly as a printer’s apprentice and then joined the Army. As an instructor at the U.S. Army’s Ordnance Guided Missile School in Huntsville, Alabama, he taught soldiers and technicians how to use and maintain the world’s first guided missile, The Corporal. During his work at the Redstone Arsenal in Alabama, he met former president Dwight D. Eisenhower.  After three years in the Army, he was honorably discharged and spent the next decade working for RCA including stints overseas.  

In 1970, he moved to Milpitas and worked as a civilian for the Department of Defense at Moffett Field until his retirement in 1993. He first worked for the Naval Aviation Engineering Services Unit (NAESU) and traveled the Western Pacific, servicing the P3 aircraft fleet. In 1983, he transferred to Commander Patrol Wings Pacific, where he tested and repaired equipment and aircraft related to anti-submarine warfare. He received commendations from the Secretary of the Army and the Department of Defense for his service during the Cold War. 

Although he had the mind of an engineer and could fix just about anything (especially if he had a blueprint), he also had a poetic side and wrote haiku in his spare time. He always had a jigsaw puzzle or a Lego creation in progress on the living room table. He also enjoyed investing, bicycling, walking, and spending time with his grandchildren. He received an associate of science degree with highest honors from Foothill College in 1976.

Mr. Swiger is survived by his daughters and sons-in-law, Kimi Swiger (Manuel de Leonibus) and Tami Swiger (Paul Coyne), and his grandchildren, Daniel and Matteo de Leonibus and Elinor Swiger-Coyne. He is also survived by his sisters Berneita Hunter and Jean Pinnick, his brother Marvin Swiger, and numerous nieces and nephews. He is deeply missed.

Services will be held at Oakwood Cemetery in Geneseo, Illinois, on September 27, 2013.

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