Stanely E. "Gene" Swader Jr.
Stanely E. “Gene” Swader Jr., 80, of Ashville, Al, passed away at home with his wife (Lou Ann) of
38 years by his side on January 4, 2023. Gene had been battling Alzheimer’s for several years,
and although the battle was long and hard, he is now at peace and reunited and rejoicing with
family and friends in Heaven!
Gene was a proud Army Veteran, serving with the 36 th Infantry in Fort Hamilton, Ny and later
stationed in Germany. He served from Aug ‘62 - July ‘65. After returning from Germany and
being discharged from the Army, Gene began his career as an Iron Worker. He was a member of
Local Union 92 and worked as an Iron Worker for 18+ years before being injured on the job and
retiring from the field.
Gene was a truly creative man, that was most happy when he was working with his hands. He
was an excellent carpenter and woodworker and was able to create some truly unique pieces of
furniture. He was also known to take on odd jobs building decks, home extensions, roofing, as
well as the occasional barn or outbuilding. He and my mom even laid the hardwood floors in
their home and covered many of their interior walls with rough cut pine.
In addition to various woodworking projects, he had many other creative outlets that he would,
at least for a short time, become completely immersed in before moving on to his next favorite
thing. Because he had so many different hobbies through the years, it’s almost impossible to
remember the exact order in which they came, but here are some of them (in no particular
order): shooting and building muzzle loader rifles, hunter, horseman, mountain man, hat band
maker, decorator, antiquer, musician, leatherworker, band member, camp cook at Colorado
hunting camps, tough man, farmer and knife maker.
While some of his hobbies only stayed around for a while, a couple were a big part of his life
over many years. Gene was a musician, a lot of folks called him “Piano Man”, and he never met
an instrument that he didn’t like, but his favorite was the piano. That man could play!! As a
child, I remember him jamming out to Great Balls of Fire and the dreaded Rocky Top. It was so
cool to watch him listening to a song on the radio, then go sit at the piano and start playing it by
ear. He couldn’t read a single note of sheet music, so I can only assume that music was just in
his soul. He was also quite good at playing the harmonica, and would play at the guitar, banjo,
dulcimer, and mandolin.
Above all else, Gene was fiercely protective of his family, and loved his wife more than he was
ever able to fully say or show (at least as far as he was concerned...we all knew it). He was a
strict but loving father, adoring grandfather (the kids called him Pap Pap), and one of the most
loyal friends that anyone could’ve ever asked for. He was also the biggest animal lover, he loved
them big and small, always had cats, dogs and horses. He also really loved Braves baseball and
watched the games religiously with his wife. He never missed an Alabama football game, and I
am pretty sure he has watched every western movie ever made and seen each episode of
Rawhide and Gunsmoke 7000 times.
Gene is preceded in death by his parents, Alma and Stanely E. Swader Sr.; brother, William
“Bill” Swader; grandson, Kieron Swader.
He is survived by his wife of 38 years, Lou Ann Swader; son Sean Swader; son, Jason Swader;
son, Danny Swader; daughter, Angel Fleming (Pete); son, Wes Swader (Kayla); ten
grandchildren, Theron (Emily), Peyton, Britton (Lexi), Jayden, Wyatt, Kate, Christopher, Dillon,
Andre, Tucker; great grandchildren, Abby, Anna, Ellie, and Oliver; niece, Mysti (Jeff); great niece
Brie (Jake); great-great nephew, Rivers, along with a host of other family members and friends.
There will be no service. Celebration of life to be announced at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to the Alzheimer’s foundation of your choice.
Cremation Center of Birmingham (205) 970-6886