Virginia Rae Swarts, age 84, of Sturgis, passed away early Sunday morning, March 14, 2010, at Riverview Manor in Three Rivers.
She was born March 31, 1925, in Mount Morris, a daughter of the late Ray Cameron and Nora (Shannon) Todd.
Virginia had resided in Sturgis since 1950, coming from Michigan State University in East Lansing, where she received her bachelor’s degree in journalism. She and her husband were students living in married Quonset housing.
On July 12, 1947, she married Dr. Robert J. Swarts, D.V.M., in Mount Morris. He died July 30, 2001.
From 1965-2001 she along with her husband owned and operated Country Garden Veterinary Clinic in Sturgis. She had also for several years worked with the Sherman Township election board.
Virginia was an active member of First Presbyterian Church, where he had served as a deacon and elder, helped with funeral luncheons and was a member of the Presbyterian Women.
For many years she volunteered her time with the American Red Cross blood bank and the Sturgis Band and Orchestra Parents Association. She enjoyed reading and acting and performed many times with the Sturgis Civic Players.
Her many friends from the church and the Sturgis District Library will miss being able to hear her coming as she often times wore bells on her shoes.
She is survived by two daughters, Ellen Swarts of Sturgis and Claudia (Robert) Davis of Greenville; two sons, R.C. Todd (Cynthia) Swarts of Atlanta and R. James Swarts of Grand Rapids; seven grandchildren, Sorina J. Swarts-Kinsey, Jamey Swarts-Kinsey, Patrick Robert Swarts, Kaitlyn Margaret Swarts, Sidney Endre Swarts, Brianna Marie Davis and Nora Shannon Davis; a nephew, Timm Finfrock; and a cousin, Gwen Blair.
She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband; and two sisters, Vivian Timme and Lucille Finfrock.
In accordance with her wishes, cremation has taken place. A memorial service celebrating the life of Virginia R. Swarts will be held at 2 p.m. Thursday at the First Presbyterian Church in Sturgis. The Rev. Michael Wicks will officiate. Entombment of the ashes will take place at Arlington National Cemetery at a later date.
The Hackman Family Funeral Homes Hackman Chapel, 114 S. Nottawa St., Sturgis, is handling the arrangements.
The family suggests those wishing to make a memorial donation in Mrs. Swarts memory consider the First Presbyterian Church 1320 S. Lakeview Ave., Sturgis, MI 49091 or the American Cancer Society 1400 West Milham, Kalamazoo, MI 49024.