Irwin "Swich" Swichkow, 79, a longtime resident of Merritt Island, passed away peacefully Saturday June 29th, at Wuesthoff Hospice House in Rockledge, due to complications from COPD.
He is survived by his loving wife of 50 years, Marilyn; daughter Barbara O'Donnell, son Kyle O'Donnell, son Steve (Betsy) Swichkow; grandchildren; Kristen, Courtney and Stephen Swichkow; and brother Bernard (Rita) Swichkow. He was predeceased in life by his father Maurice and mother Edith Swichkow.
Swich was born in Chicago, IL in 1934 and moved to Miami soon after where he grew up and graduated from Miami Senior High and where he was also the senior class president. He attended college at the University of Florida, graduated with a degree in Industrial Engineering and was a member of the Florida Blue Key Club Fraternity at UF. After college, Swich served in the US army as a First Lieutenant and did a tour of duty in Korea before returning to the states and going to work for the Army in Warner Robbins, Ga., where he met and married Marilyn.
After a short time in Georgia, Swich moved to Florida to be a part of the NASA Manned Spaceflight Program. He spent 27 distinguished years at NASA providing facilities, institutional, logistical and contracting support to the Mercury, Gemini, Apollo and Space Shuttle Programs. He obtained a Masters Degree in Systems Engineering from FIT during his career and taught classes at FIT afterwards. After retiring from NASA, Swich took up tax preparation as a hobby initially, which then grew into a second career spending 15 more years both preparing taxes and teaching others tax codes and information.
Swich was an avid sports fan, first as highly regarded fullback at Miami Senior High, where he is in the Hall of Fame, and then later in college at UF where he served as the Director of Intermural Sports. He was also very active in the Brevard County youth sports community for many years where he served as a coach and then president of both the Merritt Island Midget Football League and South MI Little League. Swich was a diehard Gator and talked football till the day he passed.
A Celebration of Life will be held Tuesday, July 2nd from 4 – 6 pm at Wylie-Baxley Funeral Home on Merritt Island with refreshments afterwards at his son Steve's home.
A Graveside Service will be held Wednesday July 3, 2013 at 10 am at Florida Memorial Gardens.
In lieu of flowers, donations should be made to Wuesthoff Hospice House of Rockledge, FL or the
Condolences may be shared at www.wyliebaxleymerrittisland.com