Nature 19

Kathie Jean (Oiler) Swaim

November 5, 1946 ~ November 7, 2021 (age 75)

Obituary

Kathie Jean (Oiler) Swaim, 75, of Butler, passed away Sunday, November 7, 2021, at Auburn Village in Auburn.

She was born November 5, 1946, in Butler, Indiana to Forrest and Marcella (Powers) Oiler. They preceded her in death.

Kathie had a lifelong passion for DeKalb County and all that it holds. From its thriving arts community to it’s the business sector, all of its festivals marking the progression to the seasons.  The changing from the fall colors to the slumbering white of winter and back to the exuberant blast of new colors from the flower’s in the spring always enthralled and fascinated her. Kathie watched for the return of special migrating birds and was always excited to tell her husband that she had seen the first robin before him. She loved the summer so she could get out and mow the lawn and take care of the garden and flower beds. The Cleveland Indians came to her later in life but she embraced them to the point of attending spring training in Florida and Arizona. She and her husband Mark loved to travel and would go and spend time exploring different areas as time would allow. Kathie was a life-long Girl Scout with her other centering home place at Camp Ella J Logan on Dewert Lake in Kosciusko County. She could go back there and recharge her batteries and connect with some the best times of her life and friends that are with her to this day. She always credited Girl Scouts with giving her many of the life skills that held her in good stead throughout life, as well as building a fire with wet tinder. She was also an international GS leader while living in Naples Italy. Her heart was big and she always wanted to give to as many people a she could.

Kathie was a 1965 graduate of Eastside High School and went to undergraduate school at Indiana State University in Terre Haute where she earned a B.S. degree in secondary education. She was a member of Student Government and Mills Hall Council during the years at ISU. She joint Alpha Sigma Alpha Sorority and was still involved and supporting them and their works.

After school, she married Mark Swaim of Carmel, Indiana. They have been married for 52 years. After a short stay in Rhode Island, courtesy of the United States Navy, the Swaim’s moved to Naples, Italy for 2 1/2 years. During her time in Italy she taught English as a second language to business people working with America companies.  Upon returning, in 1972, they settled in Kathie’s grandparents’ house in rural DeKalb County and have been there ever since.

Kathie started her professional career working with CETA, an early ‘70s employment and training program. After five years, she quit to earn a Master of Public Administration at the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at IU in Bloomington. After graduate school, her job search lead back to the field of employment and training where she was ultimately hired as Director of Administration at JobWorks. She was responsible for employee training programs, public employment and economic development.

In 1989, she left JobWorks and started her own consulting company, Alternatives, Inc. Her partner and Kathie concentrated on working with the boards of small to medium-sized nonprofit organizations in the Northeast Indiana area. They did Organizational Reviews, Board Development, Policy Updates and Fund Development Training.

She was a member of the Friends of the Library in Butler, served on the Board of Directors of Community Foundation DeKalb County and was a member of the Auburn Arts Commission, where she helped bring the J. Seward Johnson sculptures to downtown Auburn. Early in her carrier she was a member of the Butler Business and Professional Women’s Club, as president, and later a District Director.

A celebration of life memorial service will take place at the Butler Public Library at 1:00 PM on April 2, 2022. All that knew her are welcome to come and share stories and photos with the community.  

Memorial donations may be directed to The Endowment Fund for Butler Public Library through the Community Foundation DeKalb County Inc., 700 South Main St, PO Box 111 Auburn, Indiana 46706 or the Girl Scouts of Northern Indiana Michiana 10008 DuPont Circle Drive East, Fort Wayne, Indiana 46825.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Kathie Jean (Oiler) Swaim, please visit our floral store.


Services

Celebration of Life
Saturday
April 2, 2022

1:00 PM
Butler Public Library
340 S. Broadway St.
Butler, IN 46721
Guaranteed delivery before the Celebration of Life begins

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