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Lillian Swihart, 78

Lillian M. Swihart, 78, of Sturgis, passed away Sunday morning, July 11, 2010, at Thurston Woods Village in Sturgis.

She was born Aug. 18, 1931, in Sturgis, a daughter of the late Clarence and Lucile (Berry) Walters.

Lillian was a lifelong Sturgis-area resident and a graduate of Brighton High School in Brighton, Ind., with the class of 1950.

On Oct. 5, 1952, she married Melvin K. Stukey. This marriage ended in divorce, and he preceded her in death on May 4, 2008.

On Nov. 8, 1975, she was united in marriage with Stewart D. Swihart Sr. in Sturgis. He died Aug. 29, 2009.

She had been employed by the First National Bank in Sturgis from 1971 until her retirement in 1990. Prior to that she had been employed by J.C. Penney in Sturgis from 1948-1965.

She was an active member of St. John’s Lutheran Church in Sturgis where she taught Sunday school from 1953-1963 and served as president of Lutherettes in 1963 and had also served as president of the Ladies Mission Circle.

Lillian was always very active in the Sturgis community. Some of her involvements included holding the office of president with the Sturgis Band and Orchestra Parents Association in 1970, the Modern Mother’s Club, Sturgis Hospital Auxiliary 1994-1996, Sturgis Women’s Club, 1996-1998 and the Sturgis Hospital Medical Scholarship Guild. She served as treasurer of the Sturgis Hospital Medical Scholarship Guild and the Sturgis Women’s Club. She was a charter member of the Sturgis Hospital Popcorn Guild.

Lillian was named Sturgis Citizen of the Year in 1998 and received the Sturgis Exchange Club Book of Golden Deeds in 1995.

Lillian was instrumental in the establishment of the Tree of Love at the Sturgis Hospital.

She is survived by a daughter, Christine (Duane) Gonser of Sturgis; a son, Jon (Cara Davis) Stukey of Sturgis; four grandchildren, April (Galen) Geigley, Andrew Mathews, Steven Mathews and Tori Stukey; three great-grandchildren, Carina Geigley, Cierra Geigley and Jonathan Mathews; a sister, Donna (Frank) Krontz of Sturgis; a brother, Clarence (Elaine) Walters of Quincy; a stepson, Stew (Donna) Swihart II of Howe, Ind.; three step-grandchildren, Scott Swihart, Steven (Lisa) Swihart and Cathy (Kurt) Stevens; longtime close and caring friend, Joyce Shinn of Sturgis; and several nieces and nephews.

The family will receive friends from 6-8 p.m. Tuesday and 2-4 p.m. and 6-8 p.m. Wednesday at the Hackman Family Funeral Homes Hackman Chapel, 114 S. Nottawa St., Sturgis.

Funeral services celebrating the life of Lillian M. Swihart will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday at the St. John’s Lutheran Church in Sturgis. The Rev. Cary Grant of St. John’s Lutheran Church in Battle Creek will officiate.

A graveside committal will follow the service at Oak Lawn Cemetery in Sturgis.

The family suggests those wishing to make a memorial donation in Mrs. Swihart’s memory consider the American Diabetes Association, 648 Monroe Ave. NW, Suite 004, Grand Rapids, MI 49503 or the St. John’s Lutheran Church, 11078 E. Lafayette St., Sturgis, MI 49091.

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