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Georgiana Reva “Peggy” Swartz, age 96, of Greenville, passed away early Thursday morning, November 28, 2013 at Spectrum Health Rehab & Nursing Center, Greenville. The daughter of Mahlon J. & Alice L. (Johnson) Fox, she was born on May 8, 1917 in a log cabin in Sylvester. Peggy, as she was known to all, lived in Lakeview until her junior year of high school when her family moved to Greenville, where she graduated from Greenville High School.

She then worked for Michigan Bell Telephone Company and was at the switchboard when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. “The switchboard lit up like a Christmas tree”, she would later tell family. She was married to Glenn VanOcker, who died in World War II in 1944.

On July 11, 1947, in Greenville, she married R.J. Swartz and they had 52 loving years together. They enjoyed life to the fullest, delighting in the simple but important things — camping with their family and friends, traveling around the U.S., and enjoying their grandchildren.

Peggy was a great cook who is remembered for making lots of homemade bread, delicious pies and pot roasts, as well as lots of canning each year with R.J. For many years she and R.J. would take their camper trailer to Shipshewana, Indiana, a favorite destination where they enjoyed the slower pace of life near the Amish.

After R.J. died, Peggy went on living on her own at their home for another 14 years and driving her Ford truck until the age of 90 at which time Sharla “lovingly phased her out of driving”. Peggy lived the last 3 ½ years at Spectrum Health-United Hospital’s Rehab & Nursing Center where she appreciated the loving care given to her by the staff.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, R.J. Swartz; two brothers, Jack Fox in 1954 and Ronald Fox in 2006; a sister-in-law, Louise Fox in 2009; and also by R.J.’s sisters, Beulah, Eleanor, and Pearl.

Surviving are her daughter, Sharla & Ken Stewart of Greenville; two grandchildren, Meagan Stewart of Seattle, Washington, and Josh & Sharon Stewart of Columbus, Ohio; and a great grandson, Sagan Stewart of Columbus, Ohio.

Visitation is from 4-6 p.m. on Sunday at Christiansen Cremation & Funeral Care, 511 S. Franklin Street, Greenville, where funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Monday. Pastor Dave Perry will officiate and burial will follow at Lakeview Cemetery. Envelopes for memorial contributions to Spectrum Health-United Hospital Rehab & Nursing Center are available at the funeral home. To send a message of sympathy to the family, sign Peggy’s online guest book, or to share a favorite memory, please visit:


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1 Condolence

  1. Anonymous on November 28, 2013 at 12:00 am


    12/01/2013 –

    Bill and val Nichols

    Such a sweet kind women. She became a good friend .

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