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