Eugene “Gene” Joseph Swires, 88, of Juniata, Altoona, passed away peacefully on Thursday, April 23, 2020, at the Lutheran Home in Hollidaysburg, PA, after an extended illness. Gene was born on August 8, 1931, in Dean, PA, son of Gertrude Sarah Swires. He is survived by his loving wife, Phyllis J. Swires (White), whom he married on September 14, 1951, in Winchester, VA.
He is also survived by his daughters, Diane (Gary) Pirozzola of Doylestown, PA, Cheryl (Tom) Wright of Altoona, his son, Scott Swires; his half brothers: John Vincent of Gallitzin, James Vincent of Altoona and Richard Vincent of Altoona; his grandchildren: Kris (Kristen) Fedeli of Mars, PA, Tyler Fedeli of Annapolis, MD, BethAnn (Tad) Foxx and Michael Pirozzola of Doylestown, PA. Gene was very proud to be a great-grandfather to his great-grandsons Nolan and Henry Foxx, and his twin great-granddaughters Gianna and Nova Fedeli.
Gene was preceded in death by his beloved son, Eugene, Jr., and his half-brother, Tom Vincent.
Gene attended Cresson Joint High School. He was a member of Bethany Lutheran Church in Altoona. He spent 47 years proudly working as the Foreman at Penn Jacobson.
Gene had a love for baseball and the outdoors. He played in the Greater City Baseball League in the 1950’s and 1960’s for the Eldorado team, earning himself several homerun batting titles. In that same time period, he also enjoyed playing in the Twilight League. In the later 1960’s and early 1970’s, he was the manager for the 10th Ward in the George B. Kelly Federation League, as well as being involved with his team for the AAABA Championships at Veteran’s Field. In the 1980’s, he played and later coached the Penn Jacobson softball team. In his later years, he looked forward to attending the annual City League Old Timer’s Picnic held at Delgrosso’s Park.
Gene did not know many strangers and loved talking with anyone who crossed his path. He was a devoted grandfather who tried to attend as many athletic events as possible for his three grandsons of whom he was extremely proud. He also particularly loved the time period that his granddaughter, BethAnn, spent living with him and Phyllis while she attended Penn State Altoona. Gene loved the outdoors, riding his 4-wheeler around the neighborhood with his golden retriever by his side, and working in his yard. He held a special love for hunting and fishing and did both avidly. He enjoyed many summers visiting the Sinking Valley Amish, sharing with them the trout that he caught. Gene’s booming voice, big personality, and engaging stories will always be remembered.
A celebration of his life will be held at a later date.
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