Lyle Henry Schwarting was born to Henry and Martha (Prawitz) Schwarting on their farm near Bertha Neb., May 12, 1924. In 1925, he moved with his parents to a farm north of Batesland, S.D. and in 1931, to a farm near Wounded Knee, S.D.
After graduating from Batesland High School, he drove trucks building a runway for an air base in Kearney, Neb. Then he returned to South Dakota to help his dad farm.
He met the love of his life, Irene Marie Kuxhaus, at a dance in Martin, S.D. Their marriage on March 9, 1946 was the beginning of a lifetime partnership, working side by side, which lasted over 67 years. After they were married, they transformed a granary into their first home near Swett, SD and did it again to a granary east of Gordon in 1948. Their time was consumed with work and raising their children, Don and Sandra.
They farmed and ranched in Bennett County, S.D., Shannon County, S.D. and Cherry County, Neb. Many hours were spent moving equipment. The whole family helped with the work while Lyle made the rounds keeping everyone going.
In addition to farming and ranching, over the years, he tried his hand at other jobs - fireman on the railroad, helping drill an oil well, private airplane pilot, dirt moving to build dams, terraces and waterways, dairy operator, hog farmer, carpet installer, auto parts salesman and owner of the Arrowhead Inn at White Clay, Neb. When he sold the bar in 1996, he could still jump over the counter and pursue shoplifters.
His passion in retirement was buying and restoring antique tractors and stationary engines. He and his buddy, Charles Kelly, spent many hours going to auctions and tractor pulls. He enjoyed every minute of it.
Unfortunately, his fun was short-lived when he had a debilitating stroke January 10, 2001. They said that he would never walk again, but he was determined to run a tractor again and worked hard until he was able to walk with the aid of a walker. One day, when no one was watching, he climbed onto one of his tractors only to find that it was blocked in and he couldn’t go any where. It was still a major accomplishment for him.
His red jazzer became his mode of transportation. He continued to tinker on his antiques, with Irene’s assistance, until she suffered a stroke in July 2010. They both moved to Gordon Countryside Care where he resided until his death March 23, 2013.
Lyle was preceded in death by an infant sister, his sister Mildred, his parents and his son, Don.
Survivors include his wife Irene; Connie Schwarting of Rapid City, S.D. and her children, Nikki (Joe) Tuma of Rapid City, Jared (Rebecca) Schwarting of Queen City, Ariz., Jason (Brooke) Schwarting of Rushville, Neb., and Justin Schwarting of Glendale, Ariz.; and Sandra (Gerald) Bruns of Billings, Mont. and their children, Corri of Billings, tanned Derek (Melissa) Bruns of Olsbrucken, Germany. His great grandchildren: Ashley, Michael and Payton Tuma, Ryan, Dylan and Kaitlyn Schwarting, Tristan Tuma, Kobe and Keenan Schwarting, Riley, Alex and Michael Bruns.
He will be remembered for his love of family, constant smile and famous war whoop. He set a wonderful example of how to always treat others with respect and will be missed by all who knew him.
Funeral services were held Wednesday March 27, 2013, at 10:00 a.m. at the Grace Lutheran Church, in Gordon, Neb., with Pastor Travis Sherman officiating. Burial was held in the Gordon Cemetery.
A memorial has been established and donations may be sent in care of Chamberlain-Pier Funeral Home PO Box 366 Gordon, NE 69343.