William (Bill) Harry Swears

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

William (Bill) Harry Swears, age 84, passed away at St. Lukes Hospital in Meridian, Idaho on Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2018, after a vigorous and active life. He was born to George Swears and Mary Conard Swears on April 4, 1934, in Lewistown.

Bill graduated from Fergus High School in 1952 and joined the United States Air Force as a cadet for pilot training in 1954. Bill spent one career in the USAF, largely as a refueling pilot, winning the Air Force medal and three Air medals for actions in the Vietnam conflict, retiring in 1974. During his civilian career as a Boeing Senior Instructor pilot, he qualified in every commercial jet Boeing flew. He retained his qualifications until he retired from Boeing in 1991.

He is survived by wife, Ellen C.

(Oland) Swears, whom he married on Oct. 25, 1959, his children, William B. Swears, daughterin-law Kateri Swears, Cynthia E. Swears, son-in-law Roger Britt, two grandchildren, Alexa Swears and Michael Swears, sister Karen Lahr, brother-in-law Paul Swatzenborg, nieces Brenda Lahr and Dana Oland, brother-in-law Ron Oland, and a loving family spread throughout the western U.S.

Bill traveled all his life, whenever possible taking his family with him. The family lived in six states, England and Iran together. Then he and Ellen lived in the Netherlands for a time. For their 25th anniversary, they moved to their boat, traveling the U.S. Pacific Coast from San Diego to Anchorage over 14 years, before settling down in Sequim, Washington for many years, frequently traveling through the country by RV or trailer. Bill and Ellen moved to Boise, Idaho to be near family in July of 2018. He passed away due to complications of Alzheimer’s Disease. Family members will travel to Arlington National Cemetery next spring to place Bill’s ashes.

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