Howard L. “Buck” Swailes, Jr., 83, of Mt. Pleasant, IA, died Saturday, December 15, 2012, at the Great River Hospice House in West Burlington, IA.
Open visitation will held from 12 noon until 7:00 p.m., on Tuesday, December 18, 2012, at Olson~Powell Memorial Chapel in Mt. Pleasant. Funeral services will be at 10:00 a.m., on Wednesday, December 19, 2012, at the Memorial Chapel, with the Rev. Jeff McPheron officiating. Burial, with full military rites provided by the Henry County Honor Guard, will be in the Grant Cemetery. A memorial has been established for Grant Cemetery. On-line condolences may be directed to www.olsonpowell.com.
Born October 16, 1929, in Henry County, Howard Leonard was the son of Howard and Gladys Anna Zihlman Swailes, Sr. He was educated in Rome, IA. Buck enlisted in the United States Army during the Korean War. While fighting for his country, he earned a Bronze Star. He married Mary Jean Franklin in July of 1953. They later divorced. He married Mary Larson on April 13, 1973 at the First Presbyterian Church in Mt. Pleasant. She survives.
For many years, Buck worked in construction, specializing in concrete work. He was employed by Murray Ironworks in Burlington and Jerry Wells Construction of Mt. Pleasant. He was a hard worker and over time had been employed by the City of Mt. Pleasant, working at Forest Home Cemetery and the Water Works Department. He was a caretaker at Oakland Mills Park. Later in life, he was a farm hand for George Ensminger.
Buck was a member of the Mt. Pleasant Moose Lodge #1003, Mt. Pleasant V.F.W. Post #58, and the Henry County Honor Guard. He tended the flags for Grant Cemetery and enjoyed reading books about the military and wars. He also liked to watch football and the trains as they passed through the station. In his spare time, he could be found mushroom hunting and fishing.
Along with his wife, Buck is survived by two sisters, Sally (Pete) Wehrle of Mt. Pleasant, IA, and Sharon (Ray) Moad of West Burlington, IA, and numerous nieces and nephews. He is also survived by special friends and caregivers, Sheila Westphal and Brook Stagers, both of Lockridge, IA.
Buck was preceded in death by his parents; a brother, Edward “Hook” Swailes; a sister, Shirley Wellington; and a niece, Diana Wellington.