AFCM, Delbert Swatosh, US Navy (Ret.)

AFCM, Delbert Warren "Del" Swatosh, US Navy (Ret.)

Sunday, July 28th, 1929 - Monday, March 23rd, 2020
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AFCM, Delbert W. Swatosh, US Navy (Ret.)

Delbert W. Swatosh, 90, died peacefully in his Oak Harbor, WA home on March 23rd, 2020 with his loving wife, Arlene, by his side, who had been his sole caregiver for the past 2 years.

Del was born July 28, 1929 in Austin, MN to Frank and Echo (Messenger) Swatosh. He joined the U.S. Navy in 1950 in Minneapolis MN. He and Arlene were married at St Elizabeth's Catholic Church in Minneapolis MN. Del retired as a Master Chief in 1983 after 33 years of faithful and devoted service to his county.

After his retirement, Del and Arlene enjoyed 30 years of traveling to various countries and visiting all 50 states. In retirement, Del also spent time as a volunteer at the Naval Hospital Pharmacy on Whidbey Island, watching his beloved Mariners, and helping his kids with projects around their homes. Del participated in "one last mission" by taking part in a Puget Sound Honor Flight to Washington DC with his daughter, Mary.

In addition to his military service, Del was a lifetime member of the Knights of Columbus, John E O'Brien council, in Oak Harbor. He held several leadership positions in the council, including Grand Knight, Financial Secretary for the charities program, Faithful Navigator, and District Deputy. As chairman for the Pennies for Heaven charity, Del led his council to receive top honors from the Washington State council for 15 consecutive years. Besides his council activities, he was the club manager and volunteer bingo manager for over 20 years. If the council had any activities going on, community or charitable, Del could always be found leading the way. The council recently honored Del by establishing a high school scholarship in his name.

He was a member of St. Joseph NAS Whidbey and St. Augustine's Catholic Churches in Oak Harbor for the past 43 years.

Del is survived by his wife Arlene; four children, Mary (Bob) Tock of Walla Walla, Tim (Karen) Swatosh of Rochester, MN, Charlene (Russ) Hawkins of Anacortes, and Kevin (Kim) Swatosh of Everett; twelve grandchildren; and four great grandsons. He is also survived by five of his nine siblings, Tim, Tom (Judy), Jim (Diane), John (Priscilla), and Linda (Bob) Distad, and preceded in death by his parents; three sisters, Elyce Baier, Catherine Buxton, and Jean Tourville; and his brother, Frank.
Del's love for his family, faith, and country would have made the perfect country song.

A private graveside service with Rite of Committal was held on Thursday, April 2, 2020 at Maple Leaf Cemetery with Rev. Paul Pluth, J.C.L. presiding. Military honors were provided under the auspices of the NAS Whidbey Island Honor Guard.

A memorial mass at St. Augustine Catholic Church will take place in the summer.
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Service Details

  • Service

    Maple Leaf Cemetery
    1961 NE 16th Ave
    OAK HARBOR, WA 98277
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    Rev. Paul Pluth, J.C.L.


  • China Service Medal
  • Good Conduct Medal
  • Knights of Columbus 4th Degree
  • Knights of Columbus 3rd Degree
  • Korean Service Medal
  • NAS Whidbey Island
  • National Defense Service Medal
  • Navy Commendation Medal
  • Navy Expeditionary Medal
  • Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation
  • Sea Service Ribbon
  • United Nations Service Medal
  • Vietnam Campaign Medal
  • Vietnam Service Medal


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Posted at 07:29am
My thoughts are with you and your family in the passing of your Dad.
I remember your Dad's smile and kindness.
May the memories of your Dad and his love carry you through as you navigate this significant loss.
Love and Hugs,
Jill Tarant



Posted at 03:59pm
Del and Arlene,tow of the finest people to gracethe face of the Earth. I'll never forget them.

Don Pein

Posted at 04:02pm
We were so blessed to have had Del and Arlene as our Heller neighbors. We are saddened to hear of Del's passing; our prayers are with you, Arlene, and your family. Del was always helpful to us and a wonderful servant of our Lord Jesus Christ. We know he is now safe and happy in our Lord's arms. God bless you . . . Don and Donna Pein

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