Joseph P. Swartzer, Sr.
September 15, 2018

Joseph Peter Swartzer, Sr., age 87 of Watertown, passed away at home with family at his side on Saturday, September 15, 2018. He was born on June 29, 1931 in Woodland Township, Wright County, Minnesota to George and Susan (Gallus) Swartzer, the 5th of 17 children.

Joe was a 1949 graduate of Delano High School. He served in the U.S. Navy from 1951-1953 during the Korean War. He was united in marriage to Dorothy Ellsworth on June 26, 1965 in St. Paul, Minnesota. He worked at Minnesota Rubber Company in St. Louis Park for 38 years before retiring in 1993.

Joe was a loving husband. He was a supportive dad: attending his children’s various school activities, coaching his daughters for summer softball, which he was among the founders of the Watertown girls’ summer softball league, a charter member of the Watertown-Mayer FFA Alumni Association and working in the concession stand for Joe, Jr. out at Hollywood Sports Complex. Joe was an especially involved grandpa: working the “family daycare” for the grandchildren after retirement from 1998-2014 and always attending the grandchildren’s various school and church activities.

Faith was important and Joe was a life-long and active member of St. Mary of Czestochowa Catholic Church. He was also an active member of the Knights of Columbus and the Fourth Degree, where he held several officer positions and was inducted in the Fourth Degree’s Hall of Fame. Joe was also a proud member of the Watertown American Legion Eugene Earley Post #121.

Joe was a farmer who loved all things John Deere. He enjoyed the outdoors, hunting and watching the birds; he collected bird houses and always kept the bird feeders full.

Joe was preceded in death by a daughter Kimberly; granddaughter Grace; parents; siblings Gladys, Donald, George Jr., Jack, Marvin and Walt Swartzer and Lorraine Lynch; brothers-in-law Tom Kuka, Leo Blackketter, Emmett Lynch, Louie Bury, Edward Ellsworth, Sr. and Michael Ellsworth; sisters-in-law Sandy, Mary Helen, Marguerite and Laurie Swartzer.

Joe is survived by his wife of 53 years, Dorothy; 9 children Mary Kay Swartzer, Joseph (Katie) Swartzer, Jr., Theresa (Tracy) Anderson, Dawn Swartzer, Brian (Karen) Swartzer, Kevin Swartzer (Sheri Stender), Susan (Tony) Ertl, Steven Swartzer and Cindy (Alex) Brown; 18 grandchildren Allison Anderson, Alicia Swartzer, Nolan Anderson, Emily Swartzer, Patrick Anderson, Joseph Swartzer III, Julia Swartzer, Kortney Swartzer, Nicholas Swartzer, Ben Swartzer, Samantha Swartzer, Anthony Ertl, Michael Swartzer, Edward Ertl, Abigail Brown, Jack Swartzer, Madeline Brown and Adam Swartzer; siblings Betty Bury, Luverne Blackketter, Marion Kuka, Susan (Ed) Windsperger, Bob (Mary Lynn) Swartzer, Ervin (Renee) Swartzer, Gene Swartzer, Tony Swartzer and Peter (Alice) Swartzer; sisters-in-law Irene, Rosemary and Cathy Swartzer and Sheri Ellsworth; and many nieces and nephews.

Mass of Christian Burial was held at 11 A.M. Thursday, September 20, 2018 at St. Mary of Czestochowa Catholic Church in rural Delano, Minnesota. Visitation took place from 4-8 P.M. Wednesday with a 3:30 P.M. Knights of Columbus Rosary. Visitation continued on Thursday from 10-11 A.M. prior to the Mass, ALL at the church. Interment with Military Honors was in the church cemetery.