Manton - Reo Leo Swinehart Sr., of Manton, passed away peacefully on Thursday, March 5, 2020 at home with family by his side. He was 84.
Reo was born on September 18, 1935, in in Muskegon, Michigan to Dorthy Swinehart. He would tell you that he was raised and lived in Greenwood nearly his whole life. Reo knew all the fishing holes in Silver Creek, the best places to find mushrooms, and all of the prime hunting lands. Greenwood was his stomping grounds all of his days. During his lifetime, Reo had many different jobs. He was a farmer, worked road construction for Rieth and Riley, worked as a butcher and even as a logger. He was a heavy duty mechanic for Wexford County Garage; he would then work and retire after 20 years for the county land fill as a heavy equipment operator. He was a member of the Operators/ Engineer Union 324. Reo then went to work for D& H Bark for several years, a job he really enjoyed.
In younger days, he loved shooting pool and was on a travel league, first for the Catspaw Bar and then later for Kellys Tavern in Manton. He enjoyed the "Old Country Music" and was a good dancer. Reo was an avid sportsman and belonged to the Manton Sportsmen Club. He enjoyed all types of hunting. One of his favorite stories to tell was when he shot his only bear in 2006. He raised and handled hunting dogs. He also ran a trapping line. He enjoyed all types of fishing. Reo loved family time with his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Nothing tickled him more than to have the grands come in the door and head for his tin of candy. Mostly he will be missed for his story telling. He was a great story-teller of his life's adventures. Family and friends alike loved to sit and listen to his stories.
Reo is survived by his wife of 39 years, Freda; children, Renee (Cary) Sikkema, Harold Swinehart, Brenda (Steve) Millstead, Blenda Sparks (friend John), Reo Junior Swinehart (friend Connie), Ronda (Todd) Jonas, Jeanette Baumgras, Lois (Stan) Stryski and Ralph (Lynn) DeRosha; numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren; special cousins, Terry and Alice Garbrecht; in-laws, Mel and Carol Crouse and Chuck and Pat Payne; and many other loving family members and friends.
He was preceded in death by his mother, Dorthy M. Swinehart; in-laws, Clair and Noma Payne; two infant children; and his oldest son, Rex A. Swinehart.
Per his wishes, cremation has taken place. A graveside service will take place on Saturday, May 23, 2020 at 1 p.m. at the Greenwood Cemetery in Manton. A luncheon will follow at the Greenwood Township Hall.
Memorial contributions may be directed to Greenwood Township Cemetery Fund or Hospice of Michigan.
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