John Edward “Jack” Swan

February 1, 1926 - July 26, 2020

John Edward “Jack” Swan, husband, father, and friend to many, peacefully passed away on Sunday, July 26, 2020, in Cape Coral, Florida, from complications of COVID 19.  He was born February 1, 1926 in Paxton, IL. to Albert and Mabel Patton Swan, both deceased.  He was preceded in death by five brothers, Robert Swan, Vernon Swan, Kenneth Swan, Alyn Swan and Daryl Swan and one sister, Alberta Bement. He is survived by one brother, Ronald Swan who resides in Rockford IL.  

Jack was married for 60 years to Damaris Ann Whitcomb Swan, deceased in 2008, and together, they have five children, Bob (Marcia) Danforth IL, Dennis (Jill) Villa Grove, IL, Patsy (Scott) N Ft Myers FL, Perry (Kathy) N Ft Myers FL and John (Pam) Hartsburg MO, 11 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren.

Jack served in the United States Navy in the Pacific Theater from 1943-47 as a Coxwain.

While living in Paxton IL, Jack was a member of the American Legion and became a Cub Scout leader and, later, a Boy Scout Master.  He also joined the Masons and earned the 32nd Degree status.

Through his many years living in Watseka, Jack freely gave of his time and energy to his family, friends, clubs and organizations.  He was a member of the Ercoupe Flying Club. He was a 58-year lifetime member of the American Legion Post 23, the Legionnaire of the Year in 1985, and was Commander twice. He was a 65-year member of the IBEW Electrical Workers Union.  He was also an active member in the VFW and the Shriner’s. He often boasted that he stood at the same street corner for 50 years collecting donations on Poppy Day. Never did he miss helping with the annual Shriner’s Vidalia onion sales. Jack was on the Board of the Historical Society and was often involved in tours and fundraising activities for the old courthouse. He also was very involved in the Hubbard Trail Chapter of A.B.A.T.E. of Illinois. Jack was an active member of the Methodist Church where he seldom missed Sunday services in his later years because he said he found peace there.

Jack worked for CIPS and later Ameren for 32 years. Upon his retirement in 1986, Jack began volunteering at Legion park where he took on the park as if it were his own back yard.  He mowed and manicured the grounds, trimmed and planted trees and rebuilt the bridge over the lagoon among other things.  He earned the Citizen of the Year Award in 1989 for his multiple and continued volunteer services.  In 2015, Jack was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award for his dedicated activities in the community.

 Jack had a life well lived.  He loved his family fiercely and was a friend to people from all walks of life. His multiple hobbies included fishing, boating, hunting and woodworking.  He was a pilot and dearly loved riding his motorcycle well into his 80’s. He was a force to be reckoned with and will be sorely missed by his friends and family.

A Time of Remembrance will be held at Legion Park, 968 S. 4th Street, Watseka, IL 60970 in front of the Veteran’s Memorial on Saturday, August 8, 2020 from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. (In case of rain, in the pavilion near the memorial) Masks and social distancing are encouraged.  Naval honorary rights will take place at 4:00 p.m. followed by private burial at Glen Cemetery in Paxton, IL. 

Memorial contributions can be made to the American Legion Post 23, PO BOX 98, Watseka, IL 60970 or the Watseka First Methodist Church, 301 S 4th St, Watseka, IL 60970 or donor’s choice.

Memorial Funeral Home & Cremation Service, Cape Coral, is entrusted with final care.


  1. Lynda/Dale Matejkowski Jul 30, 2020 at 4:13 pm

    Rest in piece Jack. You worked a very full and fulfilling life. You left a beautiful legacy in the 5 wonderful children you inspired over your many years here on earth.

  2. Curtis & Gina Christensen Jul 30, 2020 at 6:29 pm

    Our thoughts and deepest sympathy goes to your family. What a honorable man.

  3. Jim and Pat Jensen Jul 30, 2020 at 6:51 pm

    Prayers and sympathies!

  4. Sherri Wright Jul 30, 2020 at 7:28 pm

    This is a wonderful tribute to s good man.

  5. Philip Bruns Jul 30, 2020 at 8:14 pm

    My condolences to the entire Swan family. He did indeed have a life will lived. You all have some big shoes to follow in 🙂

  6. Dale Strough Jul 30, 2020 at 9:49 pm

    Sad to lose such a great o;d time community leader. My sympathies.

  7. Marilyn conger Jul 30, 2020 at 9:50 pm

    I loved buying my puppy every year from jack. Always had a smile on his face. Later I was honored to ride with him on a couple motorcycle rides…..great man!

  8. Tammy Petry Jul 30, 2020 at 9:52 pm

    You touched so many lives Jack. Rest in peace and God bless.

  9. Mike Swan Jul 30, 2020 at 10:16 pm

    RIP Uncle Jack,I’ll always remember the family vacations.

  10. Beverly J Bennett (Sorensen) Jul 30, 2020 at 10:52 pm

    My deepest sympathy and prayers to the Swan family.

  11. Laura Anderson Jul 30, 2020 at 10:53 pm

    I didn’t know Jack Until in His later Years But He was like A Father to Me And His Family treated Me like Family I will Really Miss Him Dearly RIP Jack tell We meet again

  12. Pam Haberkorn Knight Jul 30, 2020 at 10:59 pm

    Thoughts & prayers for all of Jack’s family during this difficult time.

  13. Mike T Jul 31, 2020 at 9:09 am

    Prayers 🙏 to all the Family!
    Truly a celebration of Life!

  14. Marilyn Tibbetts Jul 31, 2020 at 9:16 am

    A wonderful man full of love for everyone!! I loved talking with him when I used to work and he came to the office!! He always loved talking about his children!! Sending hugs and Blessings to all!

  15. LouWonna Snodgrass Jul 31, 2020 at 10:04 am

    Our sympathy to the family. May Jesus wrap his arms around each of you to provide comfort and peace.

  16. Carol and Marvin Bull Jul 31, 2020 at 11:04 am

    I was fortunate to work with Jack at CIPS and I might add, he knew/did his job well. Special man in many ways. To you, his family, God knows your sorrow and will be with you all during the difficult days ahead. Our thoughts and prayers are with each of you as you move forward. RIP Jack and we know that you will be there to help keep our lights shining bright.

    Carol and Marvin Bull
    Woodland, IL.

  17. Rick and Kathy Cadwallader Jul 31, 2020 at 11:20 am

    He was a dear friend to “Clancy” Clarence Cadwallader our father. We still have wooden chests they made. He was a blessing to all who were fortunate to have met. We are all so sorry for your loss. God bless you all.

  18. lauren karr Jul 31, 2020 at 11:46 am

    Prayers, love and hugs to the Swan family. Though we never got to meet Dad in person, the stories you all have shared gave us a small glimpse into his amazing life. We love you, the Karr family

  19. Carla Chase-Earles Jul 31, 2020 at 11:48 am

    I met Jack many man years ago purchasing Vidalia onions from him. My brother Tom Chase use to talk about him riding motorcycles together and what a talented woodworker he was. After the Rob and Tom Chase Memorial Run was started I met Jack only to find out I already knew him. He donated SO many items to help the run. I have a Harley clock made by him. He was such a quiet man. Thank you for being in our lives.

  20. Terry and Pam Seaman Jul 31, 2020 at 12:45 pm

    Dennis introduced me to Jack about three years ago. Jack made me feel like a life long friend in only about five minutes. Jack was surely one of the world’s special people.

  21. Craig & Paula Bull Jul 31, 2020 at 12:58 pm

    Our thoughts and prayers are with the family during this difficult time.

  22. Darlene Roberts, Watseka, Il Jul 31, 2020 at 2:00 pm

    Thoughts & Prayers to the family. He loved his country & people! I don’t think he ever met a stranger. He will be missed.

  23. Andy and Carol Snapp Jul 31, 2020 at 2:45 pm

    You will be missed bro. Ride high in the sky. Prayers for all

  24. Dave and Loretta Gehman Jul 31, 2020 at 4:02 pm

    Our sympathies to the Swan family. We didn’t know Jack very long, but it’s easy to see why he was so well respected. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all.

  25. Shelley Harn Martin Jul 31, 2020 at 4:48 pm

    Condolences and love to the Swan family. You were blessed beyond measure to have had your father for these many years to lead you and your family by example in his amazing footsteps. He has left you quite a legacy. God bless his soul and grant him eternal peace.

  26. Ron & Charlotte Stahl Jul 31, 2020 at 5:31 pm

    Our thoughts and prayers are with the entire Swan family.

  27. Nancy Newby Jul 31, 2020 at 6:13 pm

    Our thoughts and prayers to the Swan Family.
    Nancy & Rick Newby

  28. Deborah Whitaker Jul 31, 2020 at 9:28 pm

    What a life well lived…..Prayers to all your family and friends! The Whitaker’s Deborah & Ron Classmate of Perry’s….

  29. Michael Stevens Aug 1, 2020 at 5:16 pm

    Deepest sympathies to the entire Swan Family.

  30. Patsy McCord Aug 2, 2020 at 4:22 pm

    So sorry to learn of your loss, Bob, Dennis, Patsy, Perry and John. Your dad was a wonderful man, a man of honor with a ready smile and an admirable dedication to his community. May his many valuable contributions as a citizen and patriarch bring you solace.

  31. Phyllis Emmerson Aug 4, 2020 at 8:06 am

    My deepest sympathy to the entire Swan family. The only thing missing in his obit is how humble he was. What an amazing man! Could you imagine what our world would be like if we all had Jack’s principals? His kindness, nonjudgmental ways, a smile for everyone- oh, how the list could go on! He and Dee raised five amazing children that have their qualities and I am blessed to have them as my friends. Rest in peace my friend and I hope to catch you on the other side!

  32. Dan, Holly and Dakota Dailey Aug 6, 2020 at 4:19 pm

    Sending our deepest condolences and keeping the Swan Family in our thoughts and prayers.

  33. Richard Volden Aug 9, 2020 at 3:06 pm

    “Well fellas, all good things must come to an end” Jack said to a bunch of Scouts one night as we camped along the St. Jo river. That was the saddest day of my life to that point; Jack was leaving us and moving to Watseka IL I can’t think of a man I admired more before or since and I’m deeply saddened now to learn of his passing. Bob and Denny, I miss you and those times; I’ll always remember your dad and how we all loved him.

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