Anita Mae “Becky” Swem, 80, of Niles

Published 9:02 am Monday, February 24, 2014

Jan. 15, 1934 — Feb. 21, 2014



Anita Mae “Becky” Swem, 80, died at home on Feb. 21, 2014. Becky was born in Niles on Jan. 15, 1934 to Donald A. and Louise H. (Fox) Brown, and raised by her grandmother Mary “Mae” (Campbell) Brown. She is survived by her husband of 57 years, Richard. They were married Aug. 25, 1956, at First Presbyterian Church in Niles.

Her children include Lisa (Beth Hoger) of East Lansing, Rick of Buchanan, Amy (Ric) Seager of Kalamazoo, Rob of Buchanan, and Craig Hubble (Jill) of St. Joseph, who made his home with the Swem family during his high school years. Grandchildren include Patrick (Kirsten), Alex, Mason, Brendon and Campbell Swem and Clayton, Caitlin, Garrison and Jacob Seager.

Becky graduated from Niles High School in 1951 and the James Ward Thorne School of Nursing at Passavant Memorial Hospital (Chicago) in 1955. She was a nurse at Pawating Hospital in Niles from 1956-1966. For over 50 years, she was an essential part of the family-run Swem Funeral Home in Buchanan, where she served as supporter, consultant and decorator, making inestimable contributions to the needs of families and staff.

She was an active member of First Presbyterian Church in Buchanan, serving in many roles, most notably as elder, deacon and worship coordinator. In Buchanan, Becky was a longstanding member of “30 Club” and she loved being part of the “Girls Night Out” group. Her many friends will miss her, but she will be missed most by her family to whom she gave her all.

Visitation will be Monday, Feb. 24, 2014, at Swem Chapel from 3 to 8 pm. Funeral Services will be at First Presbyterian Church, 13 S. 4th St., Niles on Tuesday, Feb. 25, at 11 am., with Pastor Jan Van Lear and Pastor Marilyn Schlimgen officiating. Burial will follow at Oak Ridge Cemetery in Buchanan.

Memorial contributions may be made to First Presbyterian Church at 115 W. Front Street, Buchanan, MI 49107 or Redbud Area Ministries, 708 N. Red Bud Trail, Buchanan, MI 49107. To sign Becky’s guest book or leave a condolence message, please visit our web site at