Whitman County Gazette - Serving Whitman County since 1877

Whitman County Gazette 

William C. Swannack Jr

July 12, 1935 - Feb. 23, 2023


William C. Swannack Jr. passed away on February 25th, 2023.

He was born on July 12th, 1935, in the same house he lived in for 86 years before he moved to an assisted living home in 2022. He always told his kids, Tom and Janet, that he was born in the house he grew up in. Though in later years his brother Ben had said that “he didn’t think Willy had that story quite right”. Just recently Janet was able to confirm with Bill’s birth certificate that Bill was, in fact, correct.

Bill graduated from Lamont High School in June of 1953. From there he joined the Army National Guard in 1954 where he served for nine years. Bill had worked for his father, farming the original Swannack ground until 1957 when he and his brothers took over the farm and ranch partnership. In 1960, Bill and his brother Ben bought out their brother Dan, and in 1963 Bill bought out Ben.

In 1962, Bill met his wife, Bonnie Mays of Hooper, Wash. Bill was hospitalized with hepatitis and Bonnie just so happened to be Bill’s nurse. They were married on February 15th, 1964. Their son, Tom, was born in 1965, and daughter, Janet, in 1967. Bill and Bonnie shared a connection with their love of horses. Together they raised horses with their stud horse, Chana Mount AKA Charlie. Bill took a great liking to Charlie and even had a saddle made just for him. Janet now has the saddle, which she uses all the time.

Bill was very active in the community. He coached PeeWee basketball in Sprague, served as the master of the Lamont Grange, was a chairman of the Lamont School Board and the Lamont Grain Growers and was president of the Whitman County Cattlemen’s Association.

When Bill wasn’t working he would fill his cooler with Pepsi, grab a bag of Bonnie’s chocolate chip cookies and head to town, where you would find him out dancing and BS’ing with everyone he ran into.

Bill was preceded in death by his wife, Bonnie Swannack; his parents, William and Myrna Swannack; and his brother, Dan Swannack. He is survived by his son, Tom (Holly) Swannack; his daughter, Janet (Mark) Bowman; his granddaughter Tommi (Colton Miller) Swannack; his brother, Ben (Paulette) Swannack and numerous nieces and nephews.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that memorial contributions may be made to the following; Lamont Community Building or Whitman County Fire District #5 - Ginny Rajala 628 S. Ziegler St. Airway Heights, WA 99001.

A celebration of life will be held Saturday, March 4th, 2023, at 1 p.m. at the Lamont Community Building.


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