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Mildred Elizabeth "Mickey" Swart

June 26, 1930 June 18, 2019
Mildred Elizabeth "Mickey" Swart
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Obituary for Mildred Elizabeth "Mickey" Swart

Mildred Elizabeth (“Mickey”) Swart went peacefully to be with the Lord on June 18, 2019, one week short of her 89th birthday. Mickey was born on June 26, 1930 in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, the daughter of Mildred and Clifford Armstrong. She graduated from Sault High School (where she was honored to have been awarded the Cup of ’23) and attended Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin, before earning her B.A. in English education from Michigan State University followed by her M.A. in English literature from Oakland University.

After earning her teaching credentials from MSU, Mickey moved to Birmingham, Michigan to begin what would become a 40-year career teaching English at Seaholm High School. She loved teaching English literature, writing, and grammar. Many former students contacted her over the years after entering college to thank her for her focused and precise writing instruction and her insistence on clear and concise prose. She applied for and won a grant to publish a writing sampler demonstrating various superior expository examples using anonymous student essays.

In addition to her teaching experience, Mickey was also active in her younger days with the League of Women Voters and several bridge-playing leagues. At St. James Episcopal Church in Birmingham, she taught Sunday School for a number of years and was a long-time member of St. Catherine’s Guild.

Mickey loved to garden, and it showed in her glorious flowers. She was an expert in antique glassware, porcelain, and bone china—a love she shared with her mother. She was a collector at heart and enjoyed attending auctions and flea markets. She was a musician and a fabulous cook, and all who knew her would say she was a “party planner extraordinaire.” She was an ardent supporter of the arts and sports and encouraged her children to participate in ballet lessons, piano lessons, figure skating lessons, and tennis lessons.

Mickey and her husband Arza (“Abe”) owned a cabin on Lake Superior outside of Sault Ste. Marie for nearly 50 years, and they loved spending summers there with family and friends.

Perhaps her favorite role was “Mimi,” grandmother to 5 grandchilden who adored her. She then became “Great-Mimi” to the next generation of great-grandchildren. She will be remembered for her generosity, her attention to detail, her love of a great bargain when shopping, and her dry sense of humor. Her family already feels an unfillable void at her passing.

Mickey leaves to celebrate her life and mourn her passing her daughters Michaela (“Mickey”) and Molly (David Smyk). She is also survived by her grandchildren Megan (Chris) Byrnes, Colin (Joy) Wilson, Mack Wilson, Mallory (Jack Byrne) Smyk, and Cameron Smyk. She is also survived by great-grandchildren Christopher, Michael, and Elizabeth Byrnes, and Vercile and Isla Wilson, along with a number of nieces and nephews, and her sister-in-law JoAnn Armstrong. She is predeceased by her beloved husband Arza (“Abe”) Swart, her parents, her sister Patricia Armstrong LaPointe, her brother-in-law James LaPointe, and her brother Robert Armstrong.

Private funeral services will be held, and burial will be in Riverside Cemetery, Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan.

The family gratefully thanks the staff of St. Anne’s Mead in Southfield, Michigan, for three years of exceptional and loving care of Mickey during her residence there.

Memorials may be made to St. Anne’s Mead, 16106 W. 12-Mile Road, Southfield, Michigan 48076; St. James Episcopal Church, 355 W. Maple Rd., Birmingham, Michigan 48009; or St. James Episcopal Church, 533 Bingham Ave., Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan 49783.


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