November 18, 2013


John Swander, 67, of Carroll, died Friday, Nov. 15, 2013, at home with his wife and brother James at his side.

Funeral will be at 10:30 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 21, at Ohde Funeral Home in Manning. Music will be by bagpiper Ron Husted. Casket bearers will be James Swander, Robert Stone, Travis Wells, Robert Swander, Marty McCord and Steve Schrum. Burial will be at Sacred Heart Cemetery in Manning.

Visitation will begin at 4 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 20, at Ohde Funeral home in Manning.

Memorial contributions may be made in John Swander's name to the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn., or the American Cancer Society.

John Mark, son of John C. and Rita (Lynch) Swander, was born in Carroll, Iowa, on April 8, 1946. He journeyed through a life of adventure - from flying on an old World War II troop plane over China, to riding a camel through the deserts of North Africa.

In his youth, John lived in Manning, graduated from Davenport Central High School in Davenport in 1964, and then served in the U.S. Navy as a communications specialist on an aircraft carrier in the 6th Fleet in the Mediterranean and in Morocco. He returned to the States and obtained his bachelor of science degree in international affairs from Georgetown University Foreign Service School in 1971.

From there, his career in international telecommunications with IBM and other firms took him to nearly every continent, culminating with him negotiating a joint-development and -marketing agreement with the China Ministry of Post and Telecommunications.

Mr. Swander married his first wife, Sharon Smith, in August 1969. They had two children Michelle and Robert. Mr. Swander enjoyed travelling and skiing with his family, playing the guitar and following sports.

Mr. Swander held dual citizenship in the United States and Ireland. He married his second wife, Nancy Dammann McCord, in Abbeyglen Castle in Clifden, Ireland, in September 2009.

He promised to take her to see the world. Together, they visited Thailand, Cambodia, Ireland, England, Belgium, the Netherlands, France, New Zealand, Australia, Brazil and Costa Rica.

During the last three years while he was struggling with illness, Mr. Swander was determined to live life to the fullest. He and Nancy travelled to Morocco, South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Argentina. He was thrilled to attend his son's wedding in Australia and his daughter's wedding in Jamaica. Off the road, John and Nancy lived happily together in Carroll where they were surrounded with friends and relatives.

John is survived by his wife, Nancy Swander; son Robert Swander (Katrine) in Geelong, Victoria, Australia; daughter Michelle Geraty Wells (Travis) in Austin, Texas; brother James Swander in Phnom Penh, Cambodia; sister Mary Swander in Ames, Iowa; former spouse Sharon Swander in Austin, Texas; his grandchildren Conner and Mason Geraty and Kate and Margaret Wells in Austin, Texas; his stepchildren and grandchildren Marty McCord (Holly) in Carroll, his son Gage and stepdaughter Kari Gurney and sons Peyton and Mitchell; his in-laws Leroy and Freda Dammann, Richard and Elaine Dammann, Sandra and Keith Hass, and Geri and Kenny Spies, all of Manning.

He was preceded in death by his parents, John C. Swander and Rita Lynch Swander.