Robert “Bob” Swetich passed away on August 13, 2015 at his home in Ely, NV at the age of 75. Born to Mike “Muck” and Mildred Swetich on August 14, 1939, Bob grew up in Old Ruth. After an extended career of driving bus while in high school, he graduated from White Pine High School in 1957. Following in the footsteps of his uncles, he joined the military, completing service in the US Air Force in 1961 and remaining on inactive reserve for the following two years. Bob returned to Ruth, where he began working for Kennecott with his father, as a fireman, engineer on the train, and later as warehouse manager. Bob left Kennecott for a career at Mt. Wheeler Power, Inc., where he became the warehouse manager and purchasing agent for the next 28 years, retiring in 1999. He was later elected to the Mt. Wheeler Power, Inc. Board of Directors, where he served for 9 years. Bob enjoyed being involved in the community as a 4-H leader for 16 years, member of the White Pine Jaycees, volunteer tutor for the adult literacy program at Great Basin College, and member of the Regional Planning Commission for 10 years, including chairman for 4 years. In addition to being an EMT, he was also an advanced first aid and CPR instructor. Bob participated in the Pony Express Re-Ride and was the co-chair for the Ely Centennial in 1987. After marrying his wife, Mary, on July 21, 1973, Bob became a member of the Immanuel Lutheran Church. He was a lifetime member of the Nevada State Fireman’s Association, serving as past lieutenant, captain, and president. One of Bob’s greatest memories was the Ely Volunteer Fire Department camaraderie. For 17 years, he served with and made some of his closest friends who gathered at his house at the end of every house to house drive to initiate the new recruits.
Bob loved to fish and bird hunt, often escaping his wife and kids to enjoy a day or two at the Ruby Marshes or Sunnyside. No matter how bad the day had gone, he was always happy for the experience. Bob also loved taking the entire family camping. Starting in the 1980’s and continuing until 2014, rarely was a year missed that Bob would pack up the truck with mahogany and tents and take everyone camping. He started out with taking his own family, and ended with taking his kids and their families. Suffice everything else; Bob’s greatest passion was his grandchildren. Often breaking normal house rules to satisfy the children and upset their parents, Bob would give away jelly beans at a moment’s notice, mischievously grinning as he did so. He was a Denver Bronco fan; jazz was his music of choice; his barbeques were among the best; and although humble about showing it off, he was also an artist. He adored his sister, Rosemarie (Ed) Wheeler, and looked forward to their weekly phone calls. Proud to be an American, he also took great pride in his Serbian heritage.
Bob will be missed by his wife Mary (Zipperer) Swetich, children Chrissie (Luke) Shady, Jaime (Tiffany) Swetich, Nici Swetich, Salina Eastwood, and grandkids McKenzie, Katarina, Dane, Milena, and Crichton.
Services will be held on Friday, August 21, at 11 am at the Bristlecone Convention Center. Donations may be made in his memory to the Ely Breast Cancer Fund, c/o Susan McNutt, 1426 ½ Ely Street, Ely, NV 89301.