Jay C. Swartz, 88, died peacefully in his room at Will Rogers in Saranac Lake on Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2014.
Born in Yonkers on Aug. 15 1925, he was the only son of Joseph and Helen (Conklin) Swartz.
In 1943, at age 18, he joined the U.S. Army as a medic with the 26th regiment of the first infantry division. During the war, he spent most of his time "on the front," serving in France, Belgium, Chekolslavakia and Germany. He received three Purple Hearts and the Bronze Star for his service.
In 1950, he married Joan MacKeand before going to Korea with the National Guard. He returned to Yonkers in 1952 and raised a family while working for American Airlines for 35 years.
In 1987, he and his wife moved to Saranac Lake and truly began to enjoy their golden years. He enjoyed puttering around his Turtle Pond home, walking his Labs and occasionally sharing refreshments with friends at local establishments. His genuine warmth and wit were appreciated by all he encountered. Most of all, he absolutely loved helping raise his grandchildren.
After his wife passed in 2010, he moved to Will Rogers, where his positive attitude created many friendships among residents and staff.
He is survived by his daughter Elizabeth and her husband Steve of Middlebury, Conn.; his grandsons Connor and Spencer; as well as his son Jay of Paul Smiths and his granddaughters Jane and Maureen.
Calling hours will take place from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 25 at the Fortune-Keough Funeral Home in Saranac Lake. A Mass of Christian burial will immediately follow at noon at St. Bernard's Church with the Rev. Mark Reilly officiating. Burial will take place at Saratoga National Cemetery.
Friends wishing to remember Jay may make memorial donations to the Saranac Lake Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3357 in care of the funeral home. Family and friends can also share their memories and sigh the online guestbook at fortunekeoughfuneralhome.com.