Cover photo for Dennis Lee Swinehart's Obituary
Dennis Lee Swinehart Profile Photo
1951 Dennis 2023

Dennis Lee Swinehart

May 13, 1951 — December 26, 2023

Mattawan, MI


Dennis Lee Swinehart, beloved husband, father, grandfather, and friend, passed away on December 26th, 2023, at Kairos Dwelling in Kalamazoo, Michigan.  Denny was born on May 13th, 1951, in Kalamazoo, Michigan.  Denny lived a life filled with love, laughter, and meaningful connections.

Denny was a graduate of the Portage Northern Class of 1970.  On March 5th, 1976 he was united in marriage to his wife of 47 years, Kathy (Farrell) Swinehart. 

Denny dedicated over 30 years of his life serving others as a vehicle operator at the Kalamazoo State Psychiatric Hospital.  He developed deep connections with the patients he transported to appointments and other important destinations.  Known for his warm smile and compassionate nature, Dennis provided comfort and support to those under his care.

After retiring from the State Hospital, Denny continued to find purpose in his life through various jobs that allowed him to interact with people.  He worked at Harding’s Grocery Store in Oshtemo and served as a bus driver for Mattawan Schools.  It was during this time that he discovered his true passion – connecting with others and building lasting relationships.  He took pride in being a positive figure in the lives that extended beyond the school bus and grocery store. 

In addition to his successful career, Denny cherished his role as “Grandpa”.  Being surrounded by family brought him immense joy, and he treasured every moment spent with his grandchildren.  As the family grew, so did his heart.  He never missed an opportunity to watch his grandchildren play sports.  His success in life was measured not by material possessions or professional achievements but by the love and happiness he shared with those closest to him.

Denny was known for being the life of the party and shamelessly himself.  He could light up a room with his infectious laughter and lively personality.  Whether it was cracking jokes or sharing stories, he could captivate anyone with his genuine charm.  His grandchildren loved his generosity.  He would always check to make sure they had money before leaving and if you said no, then he would give your portion to the grandchild that said yes.

One of Denny’s proudest accomplishments was building two homes for his family.  He poured his heart and soul into these projects, creating safe havens that became the backdrop for countless cherished memories.  These homes were a testament to his dedication, hard work, and the love he had for his family.

Denny also had a playful side and enjoyed taking good natured risks now and then.  He liked to try his luck with scratch-off lotto tickets and would occasionally visit the casino to play penny slots.  For him it was all about having some inexpensive fun, adding a touch of excitement to life’s ordinary moments.

Denny leaves behind a legacy of love, laughter, and incredible memories.  His genuine presence in the lives of his family and friends will be deeply missed.  As we bid farewell to this remarkable man, let us remember him for the joy he brought into our lives and the endless love he shared with all who knew him.

Denny is survived by his wife Kathy, four children: Kurtis (Wendy) Swinehart, of Texas Corners; Sally Bruns, of Kalamazoo; Kevin Swinehart, of Decatur; Lyndsey (Nick) Harling, of Paw Paw; nine grandchildren; Emalee, Mackenzie, Jordyn (Jason), Alex (the late Joseph Hirsch), Joshua (Madison) Sara, Kasey, Charlotte, and Stella; two great grandchildren: Ryan and Axel and several nieces and nephews.

Denny is preceded in death by his parents, Floyd and Eleanor (Olmstead) Swinehart and his brother; Sam Swinehart.

A Celebration of Life will be held on Saturday, January 20th, 2024, at 11 am at the Calvary Community Church, 7829 5th Street Mattawan.  The family will receive friends at the church from 9:30-11.  Luncheon to follow.

While at please take time to sign Denny's guestbook and/or share your favorite memory with his family. Those who wish may make contributions to Kairos Dwelling. 

The Swinehart family is being cared for by the Avink, McCowen & Secord Funeral Home and Cremation Society, 5975 Lovers Lane, Portage, MI 49002 (269) 344-5600. 


To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Dennis Lee Swinehart, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Saturday, January 20, 2024

9:30 - 11:00 am (Eastern time)

Calvary Community Church

7829 5th St, Mattawan, MI 49071

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Celebration of Life

Saturday, January 20, 2024

Starts at 11:00 am (Eastern time)

Calvary Community Church

7829 5th St, Mattawan, MI 49071

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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