Les Swindler passed away Sunday, May 31, 2020, at
home surrounded by his loving family. Visitation will be held from 3 to 6 p.m. Friday, June 5, at Stewart Baxter Funeral & Memorial Services in Cedar Rapids, followed by a vigil service at
6 p.m. A limited number of people will be allowed in the funeral home at one time. Please plan to wait your turn outside and be respectful of social distancing guidelines. The family will have a private funeral Mass at St. Joseph Catholic Church, Marion, with burial at Mount Calvary Cemetery, Cedar Rapids.
He was born in Schyler County, Mo., at home on May 9, 1943, and grew up on the family farm an only child just outside Bloomfield, Iowa. He moved to Cedar Rapids in 1961. Les met and then married Karen O'Donnell on June 6, 1964.
He is survived by his loving wife, Karen; their four daughters, Cheri (Ed) Philipp, Rene Schrader, Shelley (Dan) Helms and Kimmie (Dan) Carney; their 16 grandchildren, Chelsea (Brian) Schultz, Matthew (Bianca) Finn, Abram Philipp, Annie (CJ) Manthe, Jackson Meyer, Andrew Schrader, Ashley (Mike) Zimmerman, AJ Schrader (Desarae Richter), Brandon Helms, Blake Helms, Ben Helms, Hannah Helms, Jenna, Katie, Nick and Nolan Carney; and eight great-grandchildren. He loved his O'Donnell in-laws as his own brothers and sisters.
Les had an illustrious career spanning 43 years. He retired after 33 years from Iowa Electric followed by a 10-year career at Anamosa State Penitentiary.
He was actively engaged in a broad range of responsibilities for many years at St. Patrick Catholic Church and in the greater community. He served on the parish council, finance committee, the Shamrock Festival committee and building and grounds committee while a member at St. Patrick Church. He also served 10 years on the Catholic Worker House board of directors and 14 years in reserve law enforcement with the Linn County Sheriff's Department. His service to church and community spanned more than 50 years.
He always proved to be a loving and responsible head of the family. He was a committed person of faith true to God and his devoted family. He led quietly with conviction and heart and was a man of remarkable character.
Les would like to remember his special spiritual leaders and friends, the Rev. David O'Connor and the Rev. Martin Laughlin and to thank them for their continual spiritual support, prayers, goodness and guidance. The family also wishes to thank Hospice of Mercy, in particular Dr. Wilbur, Chaplain Bill, Krista and Amanda. Their personal attention to Les was deliberately thoughtful, attentive and inspiring. We also wish to thank all those loving people who have kept Les and our family in prayer, as well as offered support and friendship with gifts of food and other signs of affection. We keep all of you in our prayers of thanksgiving.
Memorials may be directed to Hospice of Mercy, St. Joseph Catholic Church, Marion, or to the family of Les Swindler.
Please read Les' full life legacy and share your support and memories with his family on his tribute page at www.stewartbaxter.com under obituaries.