John A. Sward, age 88, of Skokie, died late Tuesday evening, April 11, 2023, at Ascension St. Francis Hospital, in Evanston.
Son of the late Harry and Mabel, née Holcomb, Sward, he was born April 26, 1934, in Monmouth, IL.
Beloved husband of Mary, née Bradford; dear father of Karen (Kenneth) Skillender, David (Zeba) Sward, Diane Sward, Joseph Sward, and the late Nancy and James Sward; loving grandfather of Johanna, Zachary, Athena, Rheya, Isabelle, Kelly, Kevin, Avi, and the late John.
John graduated from Monmouth College in 1956 and went on to study at University of Iowa. As a graduate student, he started a summer internship at Augustana Hospital, which turned into a lifetime career of hospital administration. He continued his career at Grant Hospital and retired from St. Joes Hospital in Joliet in 2000.
In the fall of 1956, on a visit home to Monmouth, John was set up on a blind date, to the love of his life, Mary Bradford. They married on September 6, 1958. John was a devoted family man and became a father to six children and a grandfather to nine. John and Mary also became foster parents and cared for three foster children through the Open Arms program of Lutheran Social Services.
John was a faithful Christian and dedicated much of his life to supporting the church’s values and mission. John grew up an avid Cardinals fan and his love of sports continued throughout his life. He could often be found on the sidelines cheering on his children or grandchildren.
John’s greatest pleasure was being with family.
Memorial Gathering, Friday, April 14, 2023, from 4 p.m. until time of Memorial Service, 6 p.m., at HABEN Funeral Home & Crematory, 8057 Niles Center Rd., Skokie.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to First Presbyterian Church of Evanston, 1427 Chicago Av., Evanston, IL, 60201 (firstpresevanston.org).
Funeral info: 847.673.6111 or habenfuneral.com to sign guestbook and to leave a condolence message.
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