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P.O. Box 76
Paw Paw, MI 49079
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Life Story / Obituary
Good natured, kind, and a blessing to many, Michael Swintz was a very special husband, son, brother, and uncle. Nearly everyone who was lucky enough to have the pleasure of knowing him found comfort in his sincerity and loyal friendship. Gentle as well as loving, he would go out of his way for any family member or friend in need. Taken too soon, Michael leaves behind many wonderful memories for his family and friends to cherish lovingly in their hearts forever.
Reflecting on the year 1987, it was a time that brought about disposable contacts, the music of Michael Jackson, and the popular television sitcom, Full House. With the computer age gaining momentum, William and Karen (Dietz) Swintz welcomed the arrival of their newborn son, Michael on February 20th in South Bend, Indiana. His birth brought much joy and happiness into their lives.
Growing up sandwiched between his older sister, Jennifer and his younger sister, Brittany he managed being the only boy in a female-dominated household. Just after finishing up the first grade, The Swintz family relocated to the Paw Paw area where Mike was known to be a naturally gifted athlete in the community he called home. Outgoing and active, his teen years were filled with football, baseball, and basketball practices and games as well as golf and tennis matches. Known to always be on the go and even ate while standing, Mike lived his life to the fullest. With his athletic prowess and innate skill set, there were not many sports that could challenge him. In fact, anything that Mike set out to do he gave his all. Balancing between playing running back or a defensive lineman in football, his teammates knew he always had their backs. No greater friendships were formed during those years of blood, sweat, and tears whether he was on the field, the court, or the fairway. Hard to believe that in addition to his tight schedule season to season he also worked at Putter’s Family Fun Center, Lowe’s, and Jungle Joes.
Graduating with the Class of 2005 from Paw Paw High School, Mike had his sights set on a Tennis Management degree from Ferris State University. Eventually, he switched to a general business degree and brought his studies back home but not without lasting memories from his time as a Bulldog. He took courses at both Kalamazoo Valley Community College and Western Michigan University before securing a position with Consumers Energy that suited him well. His co-workers from those early years of reading meters looked forward to Mike’s sense of humor to make the days fly by. A hard worker and a great listener with a gift of gab made him easy to get along with and someone to look forward to greeting on the next shift.
Hard to know exactly when he fell in love with his favorite team, the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame, but there was never any doubt that he was one of their greatest fans. Mike had all types of Notre Dame paraphernalia from t-shirts, to ball caps, to tailgate Koozies. He was looking forward to continuing his collection of tattoos by adding a full sleeve of ND fanfare! It really is no surprise that any woman who would steal his heart would also have to be equally in love with his Fighting Irish and Caitlin Hunt was just that person! Meeting back during his days at Jungle Joe’s, his competitive nature won her over after she gave him quite a chase! Excited to spend the rest of their lives together, Mike proposed in front of Touchdown Jesus, a visible mural in front of the Notre Dame Stadium during a spring game. The Cressey Barn in Plainwell was the perfect setting for their wedding ceremony on August 29, 2015. Being beach lovers, they planned a beautiful honeymoon in Jamaica.
Mike and Caitlin settled in Portage with their two furry feline companions, Louie and Lola looking forward to building lasting memories together. The two of them were inseparable and no one ever had to question Mike’s love for his wife as he always put her first. They shared season tickets to the Notre Dame games and enjoyed tailgating both away and at home! Family and friends were important to them both and they shared their time at local high school sporting events, hanging out at Jac’s Pizza, or gathering after softball games. Mike’s love of sports and competitive spirit never left him from his high school years and he was still known to play a round of golf or pick up a racket! He could also easily pick up any card or board game as he was most content around other people. In fact, any time he was active or joking with friends and family his heart was happy. Nothing brought him greater joy than pulling pranks or playing practical jokes on others as Mike was always the life of the party!
Baking cookies every Christmas and filling up his plate on Thanksgiving were special holiday traditions, yet the Notre Dame season opener was indeed his favorite holiday! Nearly everything in his life was scheduled around football season. He’d fire up the grill and kick back with friends ready to take on another season where win or lose the memories were the goal! Not one to sit still for long, when it came to relaxation, Mike enjoyed the tranquil waters of South Haven and Drummond Island. He lived in his shorts and thrived in warm weather. Tuning into country music lifted his spirits and put a smile on his face. After a brief diagnosis of cancer, Mike sadly passed away. Described as a stand-up guy who was generous beyond measure, Mike will be dearly missed. His positive outlook and joyous spirit will be the greatest gifts he leaves behind for all who knew and loved him.
Michael R. Swintz, of Portage, died April 10, 2018, at Bronson Hospital in Kalamazoo at the age of 31. Surviving are his loving wife of three years, Caitlin (Hunt) Swintz; siblings: Jennifer Swintz, Brittany (Jake) Hemry, Benjamin Ampey, Nathaniel Ampey, Zachary Swintz, Colin Swintz, Justin Hunt and Matthew Hunt; parents: Karen Dietz Ampey and William (Leslie) Swintz; in-laws, Kenneth “K.C.” and Lisa Hunt; grandparents: Jim (Ginny) Dietz; Linnea Dietz and Delores Sampsell; one niece and three nephews as well as many aunts, uncles, and cousins. Visit with family and friends on Sunday from 1-3 PM at Betzler Life Story Funeral Home, 6080 Stadium Dr. Kalamazoo (269) 375-2900. A Celebration of Life will be held on Saturday, May 5 beginning at 4:30pm at Jac's Cekola's Pizza; 7836 S. Westnedge, Portage. Please visit Michael’s personal web page at www.BetzlerFuneralHome.com, where you can archive a favorite memory or photo and sign his online guestbook before coming to the funeral home. Memorial contributions may be made to Section 1776 @ section1776.com