George Francis Swade, 89, of Torrance, CA, passed away on Saturday, November 19, 2022, at Froedtert South in Pleasant Prairie, WI, after battling cancer.
Born in Monessen on March 16, 1933, he was the son of the late George Charles and Mary Pauline (Creevey) Swade. George served in the US Air Force from 1952-1956.
He married Judith Currieri in 1955. In 2015, on their 60th wedding anniversary, they renewed their wedding vows on a cruise. Officiating the renewal was their daughter, Rev. Dr. Rosemary Swade, bridesmaids and groomsmen were their children, flower girls and boys were their grandchildren, and she walked down the aisle wearing her original wedding gown, escorted by her big brothers, John and Mike Currieri.
George earned his Associate’s Degree at San Bernadino Community College where he was the quarterback for the football team. His receiver and life-long friend was Nick Sylvester. George earned his Bachelor’s Degree at Cal Poly Pomona, CA, where he was the quarterback of the football team and served as their co-captain. There he was awarded “Most Inspirational Player.” He then earned his Master’s Degree from the University of Washington in Seattle, WA.
George was a college professor and football coach. He was the head football coach and athletic director at Bishop Montgomery High School (BMHS) where he led the Knights to win multiple CA state championships. At BMHS there is an award named for him, the “Coach George Swade Award” which is awarded annually to a player who performs at a high level, works hard, loves the game of football, and demonstrates leadership qualities - the best exemplification of what it means to be a BMHS football player. He was the second football coach in school history to lead the program to its first league title and playoff appearance. He was inducted into the BMHS Athletic Hall of Fame in 2011. George was unanimously voted "Coach of the Year" by the Mountain Conference. George was also the head football coach and athletic director at Harbor College (HC) where he led the Seahawks to win multiple CA state championships. He was inducted in the HC Hall of Fame in 2020. He also served as the Defensive Coordinator for the Seattle Rangers, a professional football team in the Continental League in Seattle, WA. Aside from all of his stateside coaching, he was also the head football coach for professional leagues in Italy and Finland. A beloved mentor and friend, he will truly be missed.
In CA, George was a Past-President and lifetime member of the West Torrance Lion’s Club, a member of the South Bay Athletic Club, American Legion of Honor, the Dalmatian-American Club, and the Walteria Businessman’s Club. In Kenosha, WI he was a member of the 35 Club and the Political Breakfast Club. In 1962, he founded the Lion’s All Star Football Game, a charitable fundraiser that allows graduated high school football stars to play one more time.
George loved life.
George loved gatherings with family and friends, coaching football, traveling all over the world with his “Betty”, a.k.a. Judy, especially visiting family and friends in Kenosha, Pennsylvania, and Italy, playing poker in CA, and at Dickies in Racine, WI, playing fantasy football and winning bets on football games.
Beloved husband, father, and father figure to many, George’s family, friends, colleagues, teammates, fellow coaches, and students know him to be honorable, loyal, hardworking, a great supporter of the underdog, successful, giver of second chances and nicknames, a patriot, a man who achieved excellence and inspired everyone to do the same, and the one who said “the helping hand is at the end of your arm.” He will remain a much loved and appreciated man.
Survivors include his love, Judith Josephine Currieri Swade of Torrance, CA; beloved little sister, Kathleen Swade Mappas of Monessen, PA; seven children, Sandi (Paul) Bowlus of Knoxville, TN, Patty (Jim) Beck of Orange, CA, George Swade, Jr. of Kenosha, WI, Rosemary Swade (“fourth son” Steve) Gross of Knoxville, TN, Cheryl Swade of Long Beach, CA, Rod Swade of Kenosha, WI, and Charlie (Susan) Swade of Kenosha, WI; “fifth son”, Joseph Schroeder of Kenosha, WI; “fifth daughter”, Isa Tunzi of Bari, Italy; grandchildren, Jimmy Beck, Jr., Brandie (Carlos) Nava, Patty (Victor) Ojeda, Jordan (Chandler), Andrew, and Jared (Jenna) Bowlus, Jacque, Morgan, Georgie the 4th, Riley, Grant George Anthony, Bridget, Charlie, Jr., and Jack Swade; great-grandchildren, Charlie, Tyler, and Madison Nava, Justin, Wyatt, Sofia, and Victor, Jr., Odeja, and Nora Bowlus; and a great great-grandchild, Harper Ojeda. He is further survived by numerous nieces, nephews, friends, colleagues, poker buddies, former football players, teammates, and coaches.
In his words, “I will see you on the ranch.”
He was preceded in death by two sisters, Patricia (Eddie) Kovach and Rosemary (Bill) Titler; a brother, Jack (Pauline) Swade; a brother-in-law Nick Mappas, and many friends.
Friends will be received on Thursday Dec. 8th from 10 am to 11 am in Dalfonso-Billick Funeral Home Inc. & Cremation Services 441 Reed Ave. Monessen. Family and friends are invited to attend the Funeral Mass on Friday Dec. 9th at 12:00 pm in Epiphany of Our Lord R. C. Church, 44 Pennsylvania Blvd. Monessen, with Fr. Michael J. Crookston officiating. Interment will follow in Holy Name Cemetery Monessen.
Condolences accepted at www.dalfonso-billick.com.
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