Shrewsbury – Chief Master Sgt. Joseph J. Swikla, USAF Ret., 100, of Shrewsbury, formerly of Sterling, passed away Feb. 16, 2019 at Care One in Millbury. His wife, Yvette Helene (Gresseau) Swikla, predeceased him in 1990.
Master Sergeant Swikla spent his career with the United States Air Force where he was a mechanic and flight engineer, before retiring in 1969. He served in both World War II and the Korean Conflict. Following his service, he was a member of the Lithuanian War Vets and Polish War Vets both in Worcester.
He enjoyed reading, swimming and exercise. His travels brought him around the world. He spent a good part of his life living in Spain, and domestically in Dover, Charlotte, and California, before settling here in Massachusetts with his sister, Ann.
His wife was his constant friend and companion, they enjoyed many years together enjoying life, travel, and each other, before her passing.
He was born in Fostoria, Ohio, son of the late, Empolik and Anna (Rawlynowic) Swikla, and moved to Worcester as a young boy. He graduated from Classical High School in Worcester, before marrying his wife and setting out on his military career. It was while living in Delaware that his beloved wife predeceased him.
Joseph and Yvette had no children of their own, but were blessed with loving nieces and nephews, including Robert Butkevich of Dallas, Paul Butkevich and his wife Janet of Shrewsbury, Nancy Grillo of Naples, Fla., and Jane Butkevich of Sterling; a grandnephew, Todd Butkevich; two grandnieces, Shelley Koneczny and Nikki Butkevich; great-grandniece, Madison Koneczny; and a great-grandnephew, Carter Koneczny. He was predeceased by a brother and a sister, Alphonse Swikla and Anne Butkevich.
A funeral Mass for Joseph will be held Saturday, Feb. 23, at 10:30 a.m., in Our Lady of Lourdes Church, 1290 Grafton St., Worcester. Visitation with his nephews and nieces will be on Saturday morning, in the church, from 10 a.m. until the Mass begins. Military Funeral Honors will be presented at the conclusion of Mass. He will be laid to rest beside his wife this spring at Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Va.
Mercadante Funeral Home & Chapel is honored to assist his family with services.