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Swartz, Michael Lee

August 17, 1959 –
 March 5, 2021

Obituary

Michael Lee Swartz, lover of lobster rolls, sushi afishionado [sic], smoked meat slinger, guitar shredding silly goose, Harley riding head banger, prankster, pineapple-picker, comedian, traveler, surfer, nature nut, photographer, father, husband, brother, uncle, grandpa, cousin, and cherished friend, passed in the comfort of his home hedged by loved ones, a Dallas Stars flag, and his favorite framed film posters on Friday, March 5, 2021.

Many knew him as simply “Mikey”, while others referred to him as Digital Mike, Daddy, Papa Bear, Daddio, Old Man, Pirate Mike, Home Skillet, or Betty Cracker.

Mikey was sandwiched between an older brother and younger sister and fittingly the namesake of another legendary character, Michael the Archangel aka the “Great Captain”. And on the topic of captains, if you were lucky enough to spend any amount of time with Mikey, The (self-proclaimed) Skipper, on a vessel propelled by water, you’ll recall his penchant for belting out the “Gilligan’s Island” theme song at the highest volume his vocal chords allowed.

He was born to parents Cleo and Julie Swartz in the township of Teaneck, New Jersey, a quaint suburb in the New York Metropolitan area that no one’s ever heard of. And if tea neck is anything like tennis elbow, it’s a blessing his family relocated to Buffalo, New York, then Michigan, and eventually Dallas, Texas as their children grew older (read: goofier).

Despite his at-a-glance rugged, long-haired biker exterior, Mikey had an uncanny ability to connect with ease to all walks of life. He radiated a specific brand of tenderness and unconditional acceptance which often resulted in a flock of strangers drawn to his contagious spirit, not to mention folks simply working up the courage to ask if he was a band member of Van Halen or Poison. In any case, good luck getting out of the grocery store in under an hour because along with the shopping, he’d have to make the rounds and pay visits to his fishmonger, candy man, tortilla presser, sushi chef, as well as the entire check-out staff.

Mikey never passed up a chance to connect with his inner child. Even in his final days, he was prank calling family via Facetime to show everyone his “new hat” – a (thankfully) unused bedpan.

Mikey is survived by his wonderful wife of 23 years, Monica, an equal rival in the angel department. Theirs was a love story for the ages that developed at BWC Photo Imaging in January of 1996, and his love for her was unmatched.

Mikey is survived by daughters April, Erika (husband Nick), and sons Patrick (fiancee Britnee), Ted (a cat), and R2 (a Roomba). His laundry list of catchphrases will continue to echo through them much to the bafflement of outsiders for years to come. To name a few: 1) referring to any unusual sound as “the mating call of the wild wahoochie bird;” 2) telling houseguests to get into their “comfies” instead of their pajamas; and 3) shouting “Everybody out of the pool!” as you exit a car.

Mikey is survived by big brother, Chris, and little sister, Shari, who can recall in greater detail time spent in his youth idolizing Evel Knievel so greatly he sold tickets to the neighborhood kids so they could watch him jump the creek on his bike. And one broken arm later, that remained a wise idea compared to the time he attached jumper cables to his own braces or bounced off of his childhood home’s roof on a Hippity Hop.

Mikey is survived by his sweet sisters-in-law Shirley and Cristina, honorable father-in-law Jesse Suarez, his bright granddaughters, Angel and Brianna, as well as numerous friends, nieces, nephews, and extended family members who cannot be named for fear of missing someone.

He was preceded in death by his magnanimous mother and father, Julie and Cleo Swartz, greathearted mother-in-law, Rose Ann Suarez, and a lifetime’s worth of precious four-legged, furry friends.

 

Memorial service will be held at ARIA Cremation Service and Funeral Home at 19310 Preston Road in Dallas, TX on March 20, 2021 from 1:00-3:00 p.m.

Funeral will be at Rushing-Estes-Knowles in Uvalde, TX with burial at Hillcrest Cemetery with date/time TBD.

 

Please leave the family condolences and share memories on this website.

 

Arrangements under the direction of:

Aria Cremation Service and Funeral Home

19310 Preston Road

Dallas, Texas 75252

(214) 306-6700

9 Thoughts on Swartz, Michael Lee
    Henry Sanchez Jr
    10 Mar 2021
    7:44pm

    Sorry for your loss. Prayers for you all.

    Patricia McDermott
    10 Mar 2021
    8:28pm

    Love and miss you, buddy! Your meat will forever be my favorite!

    Gary Lok
    10 Mar 2021
    8:33pm

    Mikey was the warmest, kindest caring human I’ve ever met. I will miss him immensely

    Jenny and Kevin
    10 Mar 2021
    9:51pm

    When Kevin and I were living in Texas, we were far away from family and at first, we did not know many people in the area. We met Mike and Monica after I met little Cris at work. Not only did we meet friends who welcomed us into their lives, but we spent many holidays with Mike and Monica. I still remember the day when Mike let us know that we were always welcome because we WERE family. It immediately struck me that he called us family outright (not LIKE family). We will treasure the happy memories filled with laughter, honest conversation, and genuine acceptance of others. It will forever be in our hearts and on our minds. We love you Mike!

    -Jenny and Kevin

    What we once have enjoyed we can never lose. All that we love deeply becomes part of us. – Helen Keller

    William Milligan
    10 Mar 2021
    10:27pm

    Mike was one of the best people who would want to meet. I first met hom as Noritsu customer at Doc Miller im the early 80’s. We spent many hours tweaking that old System II to print better. Then 35 years later we rekindled that friendship at BWC. Many thougjts and prayers for Mike’s family R.I.P. my friend…

    Ronnie Rey
    11 Mar 2021
    11:27am

    My heart is broken from the news of Mike passing. “Mike and Monica” was always music to my ears! The two sweetest caring, thoughtful, and funniest people ever! Rest easy Mike.

    Ramiro Piña
    11 Mar 2021
    9:23pm

    Mikey,you were more of a big brother then the ones I have. I remember how me and Bill Bekins would insult each (in fun), and you kept a score board. Working with you was always fun, it didn’t feel like work. I’ve missed everyone at B.W.C., but you are one of the persons that is irreplaceable. You left a big hole that can’t be filled. May God hold your hand on your journey. R.I.P.

    Misty
    17 Mar 2021
    11:06am

    I love that Mike shared his family and home with me (and so many others). I will miss playing games with him. I think everyone loved his cooking skills, especially his brisket! I have fond memories of big breakfasts that took place while still in our ‘comfies’ during the mornings following some of the epic, Swartz house parties! The thing I will remember most about Mike is how he made people feel…as if he was one of your biggest fans! I remember trying to be low-key witty or funny in group settings and when I thought no one heard me, I would look over and see Mike laughing so hard at/with me! Mike will certainly be missed! Wishing comfort and peace for Monica, the family, and all of his friends.

    The Chaplos
    17 Jun 2021
    4:02pm

    We always loved collaborating with Mike, and will miss his presence. He was such a creative person and he was always positive and supportive, whether we were doing a job, or our personal project. Mike had such a kind approach!

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"I can’t say enough about how helpful and professional Dusty Martin, the funeral director at the Aria Cremation location on NW Highway has been. From my initial call, he was kind and informative. My friend died at home while on hospice and she was picked up in about an hour after receiving the call from the hospice nurse. The person who arrived to pick her up was also very professional/respectful and allowed us to take as much time with her as we wished. When I met with Dusty the next day about arrangements, he explained the process and options available without being pushy or trying to “sell” extras. Throughout the process, he kept me informed and, for example, was careful to be certain I understood the cost of the obituary I wanted and offered some options for reducing that cost if I wished. When I stopped by for another reason and started talking about some of the problems I was having with the pictures and media I hoped to use at a memorial lunch I was planning, he not only listened patiently but offered technology advice and let me use his personal media player. I have had experience arranging cremations for four others using two other local companies, and this experience with Dusty at Aria has been by far the best one I have had."
Paula Barnes
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"My Daddy’s service and our family experience at Aria Northwest Highway was truly blessed. Funeral Director Dustin Martin is the kind of person that you would like to see on a more regular basis – but in his industry – you hope to not see him that often. That being said – THANK YOU DUSTIN for your unending kindness, compassion and friendship through the process. Meeting you and discussing Dallas History, Find A Grave and my Dad’s lifelong contributions to the great City of Dallas was simply wonderful! In memory of my dad James A. Dodd, Sr. – I want to personally thank you and let you know that you made everything better in that moment. Your calling to “Be There” is spot on. Aria has a one in a million guy in you! Bling Blinky of TEXAS Shout Out: God Bless You!!"
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