McDONALD -- Donald Charles Schwerdt, 79, died Monday (May 19, 2003) at his home northeast of McDonald in Rawlins County.
He was born Jan. 2, 1924, at Creston, Iowa, the adopted son of Theodore W. and Charlotte (McDonald) Schwerdt.
He graduated from Brownville High School near Brewster, Kan., and served during World War II in the U.S. Navy.
After receiving his honorable discharge, he returned to Northwest Kansas where he worked at various jobs, including farming, crop dusting, and running a café. He later moved to Denver, Colo., where he was married and raised a family. He was employed as a truck driver for Times DC until 1977, when he moved back to the McDonald area.
On Dec. 3, 1977, he married Mary (Vachuta) Downing at St. Josephs Catholic Church in Stratton. They lived together on the on the farm, raising wheat and cattle.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Theodore W. and Charlotte Schwerdt; wife, Doris J. Smith; sisters, Shirley Bond, Sara Cullen, Anna Hansen and Emma Schuennan; and brother, Bill Purdy.
Survivors include his wife, Mary Schwerdt of McDonald; daughters, Marsha and husband, Gene Martinez of Denver, Colo., Cheryl and husband, Larry Wilkens of Colorado Springs, Colo., and Jeanette and husband, Kevin Burkhaulter of Bird City; sons, Kerry Schwerdt and wife, Janne of Wheat Ridge, Colo., Michael Beck of Phoenix, Ariz., Doug Downing and wife, Diana of McDonald, and Greg Downing and wife, Geraldine of Stratton; sister, Helen and husband, Phillip Sopocko of Diamond Bar, Calif.; brother, Don Purdy of Council Bluffs, Iowa; sister-in-law, Norma Purdy also of Council Bluffs; brother-in-law, Ellwood Bond of Fontanelle, Iowa; 21 grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren.
Funeral services will be Wednesday, 5 p.m., St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Stratton with the Rev. Bernard Lorenz officiating. Interment at Fort Logan National Cemetery in Denver, will be Friday.
The rosary will be recited today, at 7:30 p.m., at the church in Stratton.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given in his name. Arrangements are under the direction of Forch Funeral Chapel of Stratton.