Richard Swartz

February 2nd, 1925 to September 14th, 2021

Richard B. Swartz, 96, of Fort Gratiot, died Tuesday, September 14, 2021.

He was born February 2, 1925 in Hamtramck to the late Walter and Theresa Swartz. He married Grace Kowalski on April 26, 1947 in Queen of Apostles Church, Hamtramck.

Mr. Swartz retired as Chief of Apparatus for Hamtramck Fire Department after 30 years of service. He served his country in the U.S. Navy during World War II. Richard loved boating activities, including fishing and water skiing. He was known as the ski instructor of Kilkare Road, teaching hundreds to ski.

Richard was also a master mechanic and handyman, repairing most anything. He built the family cottage in Lexington and worked many side jobs remodeling homes. Richard enjoyed music, especially in his early years, playing clarinet and sax in a band. He loved being a grandfather and was a hero to all.

He is survived by his wife of 74 years, Grace; a son, Mark (Donna) Swartz; four daughters, Susan Grzybowski, Barbara Swartz, Sheila (Joseph) Fortuna and Julie (Mark) Kusey; grandchildren, Kenneth (Marissa) Swartz, James (Heather) Swartz, Paul Grzybowski, Jeffrey (Melissa) Grzybowski, Kristen Grzybowski, Matthew (Jenny) Kurek, Emily Kurek, and Elizabeth Kusey; great grandchildren, Sara, Olivia, Joshua, Skylar, Kyra, Sydnee, TJ (Jennifer), Dylan, Breanna, Brayden, Ashlyn, Carl, and Cameron; and a sister, Geraldine (Robert) Baker. He was preceded in death by a sister, Eleanor Pelker.

Funeral services will be held at 5 p.m. on Sunday, September 19, 2021 in Karrer-Simpson Funeral Home with visitation beginning at 1 p.m. Deacon John Fitzmaurice will officiate. Military honors will be conducted under the auspices of the U.S. Navy.

Memorial contributions to the family will be used to thank Richard’s caregivers and medical staff. To send condolences, visit

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