FORRESTON – Virgil J. Swalve, life-long farmer, auctioneer, real estate broker, and community leader, died Wednesday, Nov. 22 at Liberty Village Manor under Hospice Care after a brief illness.
He is survived by his wife of 59 years, Damaris (Windle) Swalve of Forreston; daughter Amy Rasing, her husband Dan, and sons, Joshua (Madison, Wis.) and Tyler (Springfield); daughter Peggy Swalve (Lignon, Va.) and six grand-dogs who will miss sitting on his lap in the recliner when he visited; a sister Carol Fluegel (Lena); sisters-in-law Lorraine Swalve (Forreston) and Phyllis Windle (College Park, Md.); brother-in-law Darrell Windle (Chicago); and numerous nieces and nephews.
Virgil was preceded in death by his parents John J. and BerDena (Daniels) Swalve; in-laws George and Florence Windle; brother Lowell Swalve; and brother-in-law Gene Fluegel.
Born on Dec. 3, 1934, Virgil graduated from Forreston High School in 1952 and Reisch Auction School in 1973. Virgil donated his time and talent at the auction block to many fundraising events including the Bid for Youth Action for Lutheran Social Services of Illinois who honored him for more than five years of service.
He became a licensed Real Estate Salesperson and went onto earn his Real Estate Brokers license in 1988. He was inducted into the Million Dollar Sales Club for a number of years. He was so proud of the fact he helped several generations of families find housing and farmland in the community he loved and volunteered in.
Virgil was the last surviving Charter Member of the Forreston Lions Club having served three terms as President. He sponsored more than 50 new members and was honored with the Melvin Jones Award. Under his leadership two community parks were developed featuring play equipment he helped to construct.
His commitment to preserving rural fellowship and celebration was reflected in his involvement with Forreston Hometown Days. He and his wife Damaris were named Hometown Parade Marshalls in 1997.
Virgil was also a life-time member of the Ogle County Farm Bureau and served on three County Fair Boards. He could be found in the show ring with his daughters showing award-winning purebred Corriedale Sheep. He also served as a Sheep Department Judge over the years.
He spent his retirement years keeping up with friends over a cup of coffee at the local restaurant and enjoying the Mollie B. Polka Party on RFD-TV and on her Caribbean Cruise and Branson Christmas Show.
Services celebrating Virgil’s life included a Visitation on Wednesday, Nov. 29 from 3-7 p.m. at Burke-Tubbs Funeral Home in Forreston, and Funeral on Thursday, Nov. 30 at 10 a.m. at Prairie Dell Presbyterian Church, Shannon, with burial at White Oak Cemetery, Forreston and lunch to follow at the church. A recipient of the memorial fund will be named at a later date.