Lt .Col. Louis A. Swickley, USAFR

June 18, 1925 ‒ February 18, 2015

Lexington, Ohio

Lt .Col. Louis A. Swickley, USAFR

June 18, 1925 – February 18, 2015.

Louis was born in Homestead, PA, to Mildred (Kocar) and Louis Swickley. Upon graduating from Munhall High School in 1943, Lou joined the Army Air Corps. He won his “Silver Wings” in 1944, and was sent to the South Pacific as part of the 5th Air Force, where he flew as pilot in command of C-47 and C-46 troop carrier and cargo aircraft. He participated in the war’s progress, island-hopping from New Guinea northward through enemy-held territory and the Philippines, until the war ended. He then served in the Army of Occupation in Japan until returning to the States in 1946 and receiving an honorable discharge. He later joined the U.S. Air Force Reserve and served until retiring as a lieutenant colonel in 1968.

After WWII, Lou returned to his hometown of Munhall, PA, where he married his high school sweetheart, Jean Savage. He attended the University of Pittsburgh and earned a BS in Electrical Engineering, while working as a streetcar operator. He and his wife and two children relocated to Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, where he worked for Goodyear Aircraft in Akron.  He worked later at Bellows-Valvair, and became Director of Hydraulic & Pneumatic Development at the Sinclair-Collins Division. In 1979, Lou and Jean moved to Lexington, Ohio, when Lou was hired at Gorman-Rupp Industries in Bellville as Director of Engineering, until he retired in 1987.

From his youth, Lou had an avid interest in the hobby of model railroading. A true craftsman, he meticulously built HO-scale brass locomotives from scratch, and built several portions of the Pennsylvania Railroad in his basement. He was especially proud of the replica scene that he made of the PRR’s famous Horseshoe Curve. Fun was chatting with railroad enthusiasts, visiting other model railroads, and writing articles for Model Railroader magazine. Upon retirement, he and Jean spent the rest of their days enjoying small town living, gardening, and as always — model railroading.

He was a founding member of the Lexington Senior Center and served for several years on its Board of Directors. He was a member of the United Methodist Church of the Cross in Lexington.

He was preceded in death by his parents and Jean, his wife of 65 years. He is survived by his daughter, Carol Canale; son, Wayne (Liz), of New Hope, Minnesota; two grandchildren, Jennifer Canale and Mark Swickley; his brother, Carl (Shirley) of Pensacola, Florida; nieces and nephews.

The family would like to thank the staff at Elmcroft of Ontario for the loving care and attention that Lou received during his final years and the staff of MedCentral Hospice for their care during his last days. Special thanks go to David “Doc” Clymer for being a friend to Lou until the end.

Cremation has taken place. A memorial service will be held for Lou and Jean in the spring, followed by inurnment in Arlington National Cemetery. The Lexington Avenue Snyder Funeral Home is serving the Swickley family. To send them a message of sympathy or support visit:

  • Our sympathy to the family – We knew Lou and Jean from Lexington Church of the Cross. Strong, responsible citizens who have made contributions to their country and community, like Lou and Jean did, are certainly missed. May God comfort you.

  • There are those who imprint on your heart, no matter how short a time you had with them. I loved Lou’s smile, his sense of humor, and quick wit. Dance with the angels.

  • My god bless, I helped take care of him for a short time. He was so loveable and caught my heart right away! Ive thought of him everyday. He was such a good man from what i got to see.