Obituaries—William Arthur Swick, Oct. 23, 1922-Sept. 15, 2011
Photo submitted by Kim Kowalski-Rogers
Marty and Donna Kowalski, and Bill Swick prepare prepare for the 4th of July parade in 1992
William (Bill) A. Swick, 88, passed away peacefully in his sleep on Sept. 15, 2011 in Florida. Bill was born on Oct. 23, 1922 in Tarentum, Pa. He came to Seward in 1957 to teach music and brought his wife Dorothy and their six children. They stayed in Seward until 1962 when he moved his family to Anchorage.
He was a trumpet player and upon his arrival to Seward joined up with Donna and Marty Kowalski to entertain the locals in such clubs as The Plantation and The Nobby Club. Even after he left, Bill never lost his love of Seward and would return almost every 4th of July to play on the last float in the parade “The Bloomin’ End” with Donna and Marty.
They performed together for the last time on July 4, 1997 – 40 years of making music together. It was great fun to drive or ride in the cab of the flatbed that carried them down the parade route – it was such a treat to listen to their music all the way through town. They were known locally as “Donna, Marty and Bill” and he was looked upon as a favorite uncle by the Kowalski girls.
Bill was such a kind and special man. He was leader of “Young At Heart” a “big band” which he managed and conducted in Anchorage. After Donna Kowalski passed away in 1997, Bill brought the band to Seward where they performed at the Liberty Theatre at a fundraiser for one of Donna’s pet projects.
Bill is survived by his six children: sons and their spouses, Bill and Mary, and Mike and Reycel; and daughters and their spouses Donna and Ed, Diane and Karl, Debbie and David, and Denise. Bill was preceded in death by his wife, Dorothy.
Bill was happy to the very end – I had the opportunity to visit Bill in Florida in April this year and he never quit smiling and chuckling. He was loved by all who knew him and will be sorely missed. He is at rest now, and as his daughter, Diane, and I reminisce about him, we realize how pleasant it must be for the three of them to be together again, entertaining those around them with their wonderful music.