Swartz honored with Lifetime Achievement Award

Press Release
The RGVFDA President, Tiffany Morley (left), presented the Lifetime Achievement Award to Karen Swartz (right), wife of Don Swartz, who passed away March 2011.

Donald E. Swartz was honored this year with the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Funeral Director's Association.  

Donald E. Swartz was born on March 14, 1951 and passed away on March 4, 2011, in Bath, NY.

At age 4, Don would sit on his grandmother's porch, in East Rochester which was across the street from the Harry J. Brady Funeral Home.  Don would watch Bob Kingston work funerals and of course try to direct funerals from the porch.

When Don was 10 years old, he came up missing, when his grandmother was covering the phones at the funeral home.  Guess where he was?  Don was in the prep room sitting on a stool watching Ottto W. Staub, who was known as " The Kaiser" embalming a body.  His grandmother was so upset with him, but he would not move off that stool.  From that day on, he knew what he wanted to do for the rest of his life.   

After graduating from Fairport High, in 1969, he attended Finger Lakes Community College, where he graduated in 1971.  Don then attended the Simmons School of Embalming, he graduated  and was licensed on September 8, 1972.  While Don was at Simmons, he lived at the Butler Funeral Home.  He did trade work almost every hour he wasn't in school.  Don moved back to Rochester and completed his residency at the Parsky Funeral Home.  

After finishing his residency, Don was hired at the Alvah Halloran Funeral Home, where he worked for 15 years.  In 1989, he was approached by Dennis LaMarche about buying three funeral homes in the Southern Tier with him and his wife, in the towns of Avoca, Bath and Hammondsport.  

He married Bob Kingston's daughter, Karen, on November 11, 1989.  Don and Karen decided to take the adventure.  On January 1, 1990, they purchased the three funeral homes with Dennis and his wife.  In 1995, the partnership was dissolved.  Dennis wanted to keep the Hammondsport funeral home.  Don and Karen kept both of the Avoca and Bath homes.  Bill Bishop from Hornell purchased the Avoca home, they continued to manage the Bath home.  Don loved being in a small community, where everyone knew and respected him.  Per Don's Wishes, Karen will continue to run the Bond-Davis Funeral Home of Bath with the help of local funeral directors, family and friends.