He was born the last of seven children, the son of Fred and Jeanette (Sievers) Schwans on a farm near Bridgewater, South Dakota. His given name was Arthur William, but from infancy he was called Tom. His tombstone is inscribed A.W. “Tom” Schwans.
He taught me the ride home is always shorter than the ride to the destination, that puns and word play are great humor, that money will not buy happiness, that family and friends matter, and that religion is a very important part of life.
He passed away in 1986, just prior to Christmas. As the family gathered at that time, I commented that Christmas would always be a sad time without him. But a wiser, older brother said, “Yes, but he’ll always be remembered at Christmas time.”
And, I’ve found that to be a consoling remark in each of the past 24 Christmas seasons we’ve celebrated without him. May he rest in peace.