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Sylvan Abbey Funeral Home & Memorial Park

2853 Sunset Point Rd, Clearwater, FL

OBITUARY

Robert D. Swisher

March 16, 1928July 20, 2019

Robert Don Swisher AKA Roberto Silvano. Born in Findlay, Ohio on March, 16, 1928, he passed away in Palm Harbor, Florida on July 20, 2019. With his loving wife by his side, he went home to be with the Lord. This business man and renowned singer had a full life. His parents, Don and Mary (Frech) Swisher were predeceased. He attended the Findlay School System graduating in 1946; then received his A.B. Degree from the University of Findlay (U.F.) in 1950. He participated in football and music, lettering four years at U.F. His junior year, they were the leading college in the nation for defense. Their ten games total rushing yards were 790 against them. They were called “The Iron Men.” Mary Lou Schumacher became his wife on July 1, 1971. She had two daughters by a previous marriage. Linda (Ruppert) Patsko, Lutz, who had two daughters; Michelle (Ray) Ayres, Tampa; Tara (Andrew) Donovan, Dallas. Cynthia (Ruppert) (David) Sydenstricker, Clearwater, had a daughter, Sarah (Michael) DeTurk, Palm Harbor; and a son, Samuel Ruppert, Largo. In a previous marriage, Bob had 5 children, Bob Swisher, Susan French, Sam Swisher, Sheri Swisher, and Cathy Swisher, Ohio. Bob was a Staff Sargent in Company F of the Ohio National Guard for seven years. He coached football in Urbana, OH; was Director of Admissions for U.F., and later became Assistant to the President. He developed sales and personnel programs for Cooper Tire Co., then managed the St. Louis and Kansas City branches. Bob was loaned to American Management Association’s faculty in New York City to conduct marketing seminars. In 1963, he became president of the fundraising division for Spangler Candy Co. in Bryan, OH. After moving to Florida in 1970, he joined a bookkeeping service from California, as a Sales Manager for the Tampa office. Eventually, he managed all of their offices east of the Mississippi River. Music was a talent that had him singing solos at 6 years old. He became the adult choir director of his church at 16. He was a soloist in 26 Oratorios including numerous presentations of Handel’s “Messiah.” He was the male lead in 11 different musicals. As Leadville Johnny Brown in “Unsinkable Molly Brown” (Fort Wayne, IN) at Franke Park, the response was so overwhelming that over 1,000 people were turned away each night. He was a principal in 16 operas, such as Germont in “La Traviata.” Roberto Silvano became his Italian stage name when he joined the union. He has sung solos on Sunday for Christian Science churches for over 30 years. The CEO for Scherl & Roth Music Company wrote in a letter the following: “During the course of the National Professional Orchestra this summer, it became my privilege to hear a sterling rendition of Broadway favorites sung by Robert Swisher. A voice that projects, communicates, and flows with musical sensitivity for phrase and text and is a special joy and a musical experience.” In short, the audience, loved him. His loving personality and positive attitude were very contagious with everyone who knew him and he will be sorely missed.

Services

  • Visitation Sunday, August 11, 2019
  • Memorial Service Sunday, August 11, 2019
  • Committal Service Sunday, August 11, 2019

Memories

Robert D. Swisher

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Barbara Fenbert - Munger

August 1, 2019

Mary Lou, Thinking of you. So sorry for your loss

Barb Fenbert Munger

Sarah DeTurk

July 26, 2019

Bob was very special. He had a great smile and a beautiful singing voice. He loved sports, his sweets, and playing Rook. We will miss him!

FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY