Swartz, Michael Lee

August 17, 1959 - March 5, 2021

Michael Lee Swartz, lover of lobster rolls, sushi afishionado [sic], smoked meat slinger, guitar shredding silly goose, Harley riding head banger, prankster, pineapple-picker, comedian, traveler, surfer, nature nut, photographer, father, husband, brother, uncle, grandpa, cousin, and cherished friend, passed in the comfort of his home hedged by loved ones, a Dallas Stars flag, and his favorite framed film posters on Friday, March 5, 2021.

Many knew him as simply “Mikey”, while others referred to him as Digital Mike, Daddy, Papa Bear, Daddio, Old Man, Pirate Mike, Home Skillet, or Betty Cracker.

Mikey was sandwiched between an older brother and younger sister and fittingly the namesake of another legendary character, Michael the Archangel aka the “Great Captain”. And on the topic of captains, if you were lucky enough to spend any amount of time with Mikey, The (self-proclaimed) Skipper, on a vessel propelled by water, you’ll recall his penchant for belting out the “Gilligan’s Island” theme song at the highest volume his vocal chords allowed.

He was born to parents Cleo and Julie Swartz in the township of Teaneck, New Jersey, a quaint suburb in the New York Metropolitan area that no one’s ever heard of. And if tea neck is anything like tennis elbow, it’s a blessing his family relocated to Buffalo, New York, then Michigan, and eventually Dallas, Texas as their children grew older (read: goofier).

Despite his at-a-glance rugged, long-haired biker exterior, Mikey had an uncanny ability to connect with ease to all walks of life. He radiated a specific brand of tenderness and unconditional acceptance which often resulted in a flock of strangers drawn to his contagious spirit, not to mention folks simply working up the courage to ask if he was a band member of Van Halen or Poison. In any case, good luck getting out of the grocery store in under an hour because along with the shopping, he’d have to make the rounds and pay visits to his fishmonger, candy man, tortilla presser, sushi chef, as well as the entire check-out staff.

Mikey never passed up a chance to connect with his inner child. Even in his final days, he was prank calling family via Facetime to show everyone his “new hat” – a (thankfully) unused bedpan.

Mikey is survived by his wonderful wife of 23 years, Monica, an equal rival in the angel department. Theirs was a love story for the ages that developed at BWC Photo Imaging in January of 1996, and his love for her was unmatched.

Mikey is survived by daughters April, Erika (husband Nick), and sons Patrick (fiancee Britnee), Ted (a cat), and R2 (a Roomba). His laundry list of catchphrases will continue to echo through them much to the bafflement of outsiders for years to come. To name a few: 1) referring to any unusual sound as “the mating call of the wild wahoochie bird;” 2) telling houseguests to get into their “comfies” instead of their pajamas; and 3) shouting “Everybody out of the pool!” as you exit a car.

Mikey is survived by big brother, Chris, and little sister, Shari, who can recall in greater detail time spent in his youth idolizing Evel Knievel so greatly he sold tickets to the neighborhood kids so they could watch him jump the creek on his bike. And one broken arm later, that remained a wise idea compared to the time he attached jumper cables to his own braces or bounced off of his childhood home’s roof on a Hippity Hop.

Mikey is survived by his sweet sisters-in-law Shirley and Cristina, honorable father-in-law Jesse Suarez, his bright granddaughters, Angel and Brianna, as well as numerous friends, nieces, nephews, and extended family members who cannot be named for fear of missing someone.

He was preceded in death by his magnanimous mother and father, Julie and Cleo Swartz, greathearted mother-in-law, Rose Ann Suarez, and a lifetime’s worth of precious four-legged, furry friends.


Memorial service will be held at ARIA Cremation Service and Funeral Home at 19310 Preston Road in Dallas, TX on March 20, 2021 from 1:00-3:00 p.m.

Funeral will be at Rushing-Estes-Knowles in Uvalde, TX with burial at Hillcrest Cemetery with date/time TBD.


Please leave the family condolences and share memories on this website.


Arrangements under the direction of:

Aria Cremation Service and Funeral Home

19310 Preston Road

Dallas, Texas 75252

(214) 306-6700

9 replies on “Swartz, Michael Lee”

Henry Sanchez Jr says:

Sorry for your loss. Prayers for you all.

Patricia McDermott says:

Love and miss you, buddy! Your meat will forever be my favorite!

Gary Lok says:

Mikey was the warmest, kindest caring human I’ve ever met. I will miss him immensely

Jenny and Kevin says:

When Kevin and I were living in Texas, we were far away from family and at first, we did not know many people in the area. We met Mike and Monica after I met little Cris at work. Not only did we meet friends who welcomed us into their lives, but we spent many holidays with Mike and Monica. I still remember the day when Mike let us know that we were always welcome because we WERE family. It immediately struck me that he called us family outright (not LIKE family). We will treasure the happy memories filled with laughter, honest conversation, and genuine acceptance of others. It will forever be in our hearts and on our minds. We love you Mike!

-Jenny and Kevin

What we once have enjoyed we can never lose. All that we love deeply becomes part of us. – Helen Keller

William Milligan says:

Mike was one of the best people who would want to meet. I first met hom as Noritsu customer at Doc Miller im the early 80’s. We spent many hours tweaking that old System II to print better. Then 35 years later we rekindled that friendship at BWC. Many thougjts and prayers for Mike’s family R.I.P. my friend…

Ronnie Rey says:

My heart is broken from the news of Mike passing. “Mike and Monica” was always music to my ears! The two sweetest caring, thoughtful, and funniest people ever! Rest easy Mike.

Ramiro Piña says:

Mikey,you were more of a big brother then the ones I have. I remember how me and Bill Bekins would insult each (in fun), and you kept a score board. Working with you was always fun, it didn’t feel like work. I’ve missed everyone at B.W.C., but you are one of the persons that is irreplaceable. You left a big hole that can’t be filled. May God hold your hand on your journey. R.I.P.😭

Misty says:

I love that Mike shared his family and home with me (and so many others). I will miss playing games with him. I think everyone loved his cooking skills, especially his brisket! I have fond memories of big breakfasts that took place while still in our ‘comfies’ during the mornings following some of the epic, Swartz house parties! The thing I will remember most about Mike is how he made people feel…as if he was one of your biggest fans! I remember trying to be low-key witty or funny in group settings and when I thought no one heard me, I would look over and see Mike laughing so hard at/with me! Mike will certainly be missed! Wishing comfort and peace for Monica, the family, and all of his friends.

The Chaplos says:

We always loved collaborating with Mike, and will miss his presence. He was such a creative person and he was always positive and supportive, whether we were doing a job, or our personal project. Mike had such a kind approach!

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R. Driver

Excellent customer service, they made you feel like you were their only customer. Very helpful and explained what we should expect during the process. They basically took care of our needs during this time. They contacted DFW National Cemetery for us which made it a smooth experience. Definitely will use them again.

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