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David Swartzwelder

David Swartzwelder

April 15, 1939– Dec. 12, 2020

 

David Swartzwelder, 81 of Ironton, passed away Saturday, Dec. 12, 2020, at Community Hospice Care Center.

The Lawrence County native was born April 15, 1939, the son of the late Harry and Druzella (Miller) Swartwelder.

He is survived by his wife of 61 years, Rosemary (Adkins) Swartzwelder.

David was a graduate of Dawson Bryant and was a former maintenance worker for Armco Steel for 35.

When President Teddy Roosevelt once said “Walk softly and carry a big stick”, he could easily have been talking about Dave Swartzwelder.

The left-handed batter was known for his rocket shots down the first base line during his baseball playing days at Coal Grove and later in the softball leagues in Ironton and the area.

In recent years, Dave has been helpful assisting in the annual 5K Memorial Day run in Ironton and raising scholarship money for veterans.

In high school, he was co-captain of the football team, captain of the basketball team and in baseball, he not only was an outstanding hitter with great power, he pitched and averaged two strike outs an inning. He was voted “Most Sports Person” and lettered in all three sports.

It was Dave’s love of sports that led him to team up with his good friend, James “Pee Wee” Gibson, to revive the Solvay softball field, currently used as the Ironton youth soccer fields.

Dave drove his father’s tractor with disc from their farm on State Route 243 in South Point to Ironton where he and Gibson worked endless hours until the field was in pristine condition.

Upon completion, the field was used for many years by the Ironton recreation department for youth and adult softball leagues.

During his post-high school career, Dave was one of the big bats in the lineup for the famous Art’s Superette men’s softball team, as well as Malone’s Mobile Homes, Bob Linn Sporting Goods, Ironton First Church of the Nazarene and West Ironton Church of the Nazarene.

Art’s Superette dominated not only the Ironton’s men’s league but throughout the Tri-State and the team was very successful in tournaments wherever they traveled throughout Ohio and other states. When the recreation department was still playing at Beechwood Park, fans would fill the stands to watch Swartzwelder crush home runs well over 300 feet out of the park into the middle of the football field.

When leagues began to dwindle and fold, Swartzwelder continued to play in senior leagues. Playing in the Old Timer’s League, Dave’s team won the state tournament for the 35-and-older division. As he grew older, his swing was still powerful and he joined the International Senior Softball Association (ISSA) and his team won the World Championship held in Manassas, Virginia, where he was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player.

In 2004, Swartzwelder was inducted into the Tri-State Sports Baseball/Softball Hall of Fame. He was named the “Best Offensive Player” in the All-World Team 65-and-older Division and was recognized in national publications for his outstanding performance.

Dave attended Ironton First Church of the Nazarene and was an avid follower of southern gospel groups and traveled frequently to attend many concerts.

He was a member of the Ironton Lions’ Club and worked endlessly on projects that raised funds for seeing eye dogs.

Dave loved the Lord his Savior, his wife Rosemary, three daughters, along with his granddaughter and great-granddaughters.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by three daughters, Joyce (David) Lynd, of Pedro, Cheryl (Philip) Willis, of Wheelersburg, and Carla Swartzwelder, of Ironton; granddaughter, Amy Tye, of Richmond, Kentucky and his great-granddaughters, Hayla Tye and Indya Tye; and his pets, Cat Missy and Dog Sheldon.

Graveside services will be 1:30 PM, on Wednesday at Woodland Cemetery, with Pastor Bob Bradley and Pastor Rob Hale officiating.

To offer condolences to the Swartzwelder family, please visit www.tracybrammerfh.com.

In lieu of flowers, the family ask that donations be made to the Ashland Community Hospice Care Center 2330 Pollard, Road Ashland, Kentucky 41101.