We Remember

SWETITCH, Frederic

December 15, 1933 — June 6, 2022

Halfway through his eighty-eighth year, our gentle Fred Swetitch was holding his beloved Sylvia’s hand while he peacefully passed away on June 6, 2022. Fred was a kind and caring soul, who always had a whistle on his lips or a song in his heart. He was even whistling and singing near the end. He often remarked that he “had a good life”, and he journeyed through that life peacefully, seasoned with humour. Not to mention, he was known by the ladies for his great hugs.

On December 15, 1933, Fred was born to the late John and Josepha, in Rutland, BC, in a place on Gerstmar Road. He was one of eleven children.  At the age of 18, he joined the B.C. Forest Service. He was stationed throughout British Columbia, Princeton, 100 Mile House, Ashcroft, and Kelowna, before he went on to Ranger School in Langley (at the time he was the youngest to attend the school). During his school term, he and Sylvia were married in Kelowna, BC.

In January 1961, Fred left the Forest Service and we moved to Judy Creek, AB, where he worked for Norga Construction (his father-in-law). Then we moved up to Lesser Slave Lake. It was in the oil field, where Fred worked for Imperial Oil, that we were in Slave Lake for the first big fire and the big flood. There, Fred had a crew of 18 first nations people working for him, including the Chief. We were there until the summer of 1971 when we moved back to Kelowna and built our new home. Fred went to work for Crown Forest on September 14, 1971, where he remained until retirement in December of 1998 when he was 65 years old. Fred loved his work, and his co-workers.  After that Fred always found jobs to keep him busy; he had a garden where we grew berries and peaches, and our two girls kept us busy, driving them here and there. Also, we had both sets of our parents living in Kelowna, which kept us moving, along with our various volunteer activities. For recreation, Fred & Sylvia liked to ice skate and go on bus tours to the USA and throughout BC. Fred also liked hockey and bowling, he played baseball. He loved to relax and watch a good western.

In June 1995, we sold our home and moved into Sunrise Village. Just after we moved, we noticed the symptoms of dementia begin to set in for Fred. We attended three different clinical trials to help diagnose him, which we found interesting and helpful. He was doing fine up until he had a stroke in March of this year. Then he became ill with influenza A and pneumonia, which was bad. We kept Fred at home for as long as possible. He spent eight days in the Kelowna General Hospital before he passed away.

Fred gave back to his community in many and various ways. He belonged to Folk Fest Kelowna – spending 45 years on the committee.  Fred was recognized for his contribution to the Sons of Norway and was presented with the President’s Award. He and Sylvia taught citizenship for many years, and they loved to participate in the ceremonies.

Fred was a social man who made many friends over the years, and he will be missed dearly. He will continue to live in the hearts of his family: the love of his life and his wife of 63 years, Sylvia; their daughters Debbie and Cindy (and son-in-law Gordon); and granddaughter Briana; as well as his remaining siblings Josephine, Hilda (and brother-in-law Glen), and Janet; his brother- and sisters-in-law George, Lorna, Iris, and Nadine; Sylvia’s Aunt Pat, Aunt Beth, Aunt Isabel, and Aunt Joyce; and numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins, all of whom he deeply cared for and loved. He goes to join in the heavenly ranks with Terry, Amella, twin sisters Ena & Frances, Edward, Jackie, and Helen.

Heartfelt thanks to Dr. Ketch and the staff on 6 West at the Kelowna General Hospital. Your care and compassion are deeply appreciated.

A Memorial Service will be held at a later date, yet to be determined.

If you wish to send a condolence, post photos, or share a memory, please scroll down the page to the area called “Condolences”.

In life
I loved you dearly
In death
I love you still,
In my heart
you hold a place
No one else
could ever fill.

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