Paul's Story

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SHORT GAP, W.Va. On Thursday, Oct. 12, 2017, Paul L. Swaner lost his battle with lung cancer. He died peacefully at home in the arms of his wife Abby, surrounded by his family. From his birth Aug. 6, 1941, to his death, Paul exhibited strength and support to all who knew him. During his illness, Paul remained consistent in character, generous and kind hearted, just as he was throughout his life.
Paul leaves behind his beloved wife of 34 years, Avonelle Lee Swaner. Paul and Abby initially married as teenagers they took separate paths reuniting in June 1984. The Swaner's loving home welcomed and sheltered many generations. Truly, their door was always open.
Paul, a self-taught engineer and craftsman, enjoyed tinkering and beautifying the world. From transmissions to literally the kitchen sink, he could repair anything. Paul donated time to Rocky Gap State Park rebuilding cabins and clearing campsites. Using his 18 wheeler skills, he delivered Meals on Wheels in Mineral County for Aging and Family Services. He was a medal winner at the Senior Olympics and looked forward to participating each year. Paul loved to drive and mapped out a month long coast to coast trek including Yosemite and Mt. Rushmore for Abby and her friends. Sonny to his siblings, refused no one, answering late night calls to rescue family or friends. He could be dressed and out the door in five minutes. To his grandchildren, our beloved Bop Bop offered patience and a warm smile. As the cancer metastasized to his liver, he continued to answer the phone cheerfully providing guidance, knowledge and comfort.
In addition to Abby, Paul is mourned by his brother, Robert Swaner, and wife, Donna of Johnstown Pa., and sister, Linda White and husband, David of Slocumb, Ala.; brother-in-laws, Robert Butch Shipley and wife, Fay, Marietta, Ga. and Roy Shipley of Columbus, Ga. Paul leaves behind two sons and five daughters, sons, Matt Swaner and fiancé, Melanie Newman, and David Myers; daughters, Misty Davis, Linda Everly and husband, Leo, Krista Shenk and husband, Daryl, Brenda Lee Norman and husband, Jeff, Beth Theimer and husband, Rich, Paul is missed by his grandchildren, Trey Michael and Richie Theimer, Ben and wife, Erin, Victoria and Kennedy Davis, Melicha Hess, Tim Everly, Josiah and wife, Kaila, Sariah, Noelle, Gabrielle and Merrily Shenk, Jade, Devon, Casey, Ross and Luke Barr, Kelsey and Nicholas Norman. His legacy continues in five great grandchildren, Nolan Hess, Avalyn Everly, Madison Theimer, Elisabeth and Sela Shenk, Rela Swaner, and Makenna McQuaid. Sonny is preceded in death by his parents, Thelma Phyllis Swaner and James Carlisle Swaner and his eldest brother, William Swaner.
Paul wishes to acknowledge Harve and Wally Harper of Crites Trucking and BBurn Trucking for giving him "something to do" after retiring. Paul wishes to recognize the first responders from Short Gap Fire Hall. Paul and his family thank Marsha Combs of Potomac Valley Hospice in providing comfort in his last days. Paul thanks Dr. Faye Yin and the Schwab Cancer Center for providing empathetic and compassionate care. Finally, they thank Dr. Paul Livengood and Fort Ashby Family Practice for their decades of dedication and care to the family.
In continuation of his generosity and selflessness, Paul requested his body be donated to West Virginia University.
A Celebration of Life is planned on Monday, Oct. 16, 2017, 5 to 7 p.m. at Calvary Baptist Church 14513 McMullen Hwy SW, Cumberland, MD 21502.
Paul strongly believed in organ donation and encourages others to do the same.
In lieu of flowers, check your tire pressure and change the oil in your car, or donate to your local fire department. Bop Bop would have liked that. Paul leaves us with a final thought to all, it's a wonderful day, happy to have been here.
Published on October 13, 2017
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