Walter G. Swistak, a retired Logistics Manager, from Newport RI passed away on April 24, 2021. He was the husband of Helen E. Swistak for 69 years. Walter celebrated his 100th birthday with his family last August in grand style.
Walter was born in New Bedford MA on August 11, 1920, the son of Theodore and Wanda Swistak. Mr. Swistak was a veteran of WWII, serving in the US Naval Air Corps as an airship pilot and detailed his wartime experiences in his book, “Blimps, Balloons and Bombs” published in 1993. He was a member of the Naval Airship Association and the Lighter Than Air Society.
He moved to Newport in 1941, retiring from the Naval Underwater Systems Center after 35 years of service, which included time as an apprentice at the Naval Torpedo Station. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1961 at the age of 41, completing his education during a ten-year period in a program offered by the University’s Extension Division.
Mr. Swistak was active in youth baseball, having served as an umpire when the Little League was first introduced in Newport in 1953, and followed by several years as a manager and later as the president of both the Little League and Babe Ruth League.
He enjoyed spending time with his 5 children, 15 grandchildren, and 32 great grandchildren, and was proud of their many talents and accomplishments. He enjoyed the beauty of Aquidneck Island and particularly the beaches, spending many, many hours body surfing at Easton’s and Sachuest Beach.
He was pre-deceased by his wife Helen, five sisters – Rita Clarke, Helen Tulloch, Evelyn Swartzwelder, Norma Baron, Natalie Sisson; and a brother Ronald Swistak; son Chris Swistak and his wife Laurie Swistak and granddaughter Julie Swistak Maloney.
He is survived by four children: Mark Swistak and wife Debbie (Anderson) and Michael and wife Paula (Sullivan) of Jamestown RI; Susan McWeeney of Middletown RI, Sally Swistak and Ron Ford of Newport RI; Fourteen grandchildren; Laura, Christopher, Brian, and Patrick Swistak; Mark and Matthew Swistak and Katherine Moniz; Ethan, Michael, and Matthew Richardson; Jason Oakley and Noah Swistak; and Meredith Day and Michelle Chessin. Thirty-Two Great Grandchildren; Ryan, Brett, Evan and Kate Maloney; Emma, Christopher III, and Avery Swistak; Elizabeth, John and Abigail Day; Sydney, Madeleine, Colin and Conner Chessin; Mark III, Cameron, Lyla, and Vivienne Swistak; Colton Swistak; Olivia, Katherine and Luke Swistak; Chase, Benjamin, Lily and Ava Moniz; Jackson and Dahlia Richardson, Cody Field and Tyler Boiani; Margot Swistak; and Everett Swistak.
Calling hours will be held on Friday, April 30, 2021, from 2-4 and 5-7, in the Memorial Funeral Home, 375 Broadway, Newport. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Saturday, May 1, at 9:30 AM in St. Joseph’s Church, Broadway and Mann Ave, Newport. Burial will take place on Monday, May 3, at 10:00 AM in the RI Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Exeter.
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