Mary Marie (Baumgartner) Swartz, 83, Rochester, passed away at 4:16 p.m. Thursday, April 6, 2017 at Elkhart General Hospital, Elkhart, due to complications from heart surgery.
Born in her family farmhouse in Jefferson Township, Elkhart County, to Lucille (Reid) and Homer Baumgartner on May 25, 1933, she spent her early years there with her great grandmother. Due to family circumstances she spent her teenage years in Milford.
Marie moved to South Bend after graduating high school and met Roy Swartz in their church choir. They were married September, 1951. In 1956 the couple moved to Elkhart with their daughter. Marie worked in several businesses including Ball Band in Mishawaka and First Old State Bank and the license bureau in Elkhart. She also worked as an early female truck driver, delivering 60′ trailers to many cities including Cleveland and Kansas City for her husband’s business. In high heels.
Marie and her husband moved to Rochester in the early ’70’s where she was a court bailiff and later a legal secretary. She sold Avon products for many years and was a lifetime member of the Fulton County Historical Society. Her many interests included genealogy, handwriting analysis, civic theater, reading and animals. She supported many animal organizations and was a vegetarian. Marie was a talented seamstress. As a contestant for three days on the TV game show Password in the early ’70’s, she wore her own creations playing with Bill Bixby and Lucie Arnaz. The host, Allen Ludden’s wife, Betty White commented on Marie’s beautiful outfits.
Survivors include her husband, Roy Swartz of Rochester; daughter, Sandra Van Tilburg of Middlebury; son-in-law Robin Van Tilburg of Detroit; brother, John and wife Nancy Baumgartner of South Bend; brother-in-law, Nick Swartz of Valparaiso; and many nieces and nephews including Lynn and Darlene Nelson of Rochester.
She was preceded in death by her parents and sister, Vivien Horner.
Friends may visit from noon to 3 p.m. Saturday, April 15 at Zimmerman Bros. Funeral Home, Rochester. \Interment will follow at Athens Cemetery, Athens.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Fulton County Animal Adoption and Education Center or the Humane Society of Elkhart County.