Kim Dean Schwegel, 60, passed away November 28, 2019, surrounded by his family. Kim fought a brief but valiant battle against cancer.
Kim was born July 8, 1959 in Bemidji, Minnesota, to Roman and Nancy (Corne) Schwegel. He was second born, first son. The family lived in the Blackduck, Minnesota area for a few years before moving to the rural Eveleth, Minnesota area. Kim attended school at Forbes Elementary and Cherry School in Iron, Minnesota.
In 1973 the family, now with 5 children, moved to Olney, Montana, where Kim attended Whitefish Junior High and Whitefish High School.
In March, 1979, Kim enlisted in the US Army, serving as a medic at Ft. Lewis, Washington. He was a trainer at Huckleberry Creek, a mountain camp on Mount Ranier. He earned several awards and medals, including Sharpshooter and NCO Professional Development ribbon. He was honorably discharged in March, 1982.
In March 1981, Kim married Jera Mason Anderson. Jera brought 3 children to the marriage and Kim embraced fatherhood. He was “Dad” for the rest of his life. Then in August, 1981, at a renewal and reception, they “married” again! Kim and Jera added 2 more children to their family.
The Schwegel family resided in several locations in the Flathead Valley, finally settling on Prairie View Drive outside of Kalispell. As Kim was disabled due to injuries he received while employed at American Timber in Olney, he and Jera started spending winters in Arizona in 2003. In 2014 they finally purchased a home outside of Bouse, Arizona and began living there year round.
The Schwegel family met the Gary Weller family and began a lifelong friendship. Together they square danced and even attended square dance camp outs, where they danced in lakes. Kim and Gary remained friends through births, deaths and marriages of mutual friends. They were hunting partners for many years. They even “adopted” each other as brothers.
Kim loved the outdoors. As a young boy and teen, he and his older sister operated a trap line in the winter months for fair money. He loved to fish, hunt and go camping. While his family lived in Minnesota, their property had shoreline on a small lake. He and his sister and one brother spent many days fishing on that little lake in a little wooden boat. They would fish until they couldn't bail out the water anymore, then go home. He bagged his share of elk and deer, heading to the Wisdom area with several friends each fall for elk hunting.
In his youth, Kim spent many summers with his aunt and uncle, Lillian and Emmet Wernberg, at their farm in Minnesota. He learned about farming and animals and the Schwegel family always had a slew of animals, from dogs and cats to chickens and goats.
Kim was an amazing artist, with no formal training. In his youth he would draw and sketch on just about any paper he could find. As he got older, he perfected some of his skills by painting, sketching, carving and building. He and Jera would scour the desert in and around Bouse and Quartzite Arizona for interesting rocks that he polished and occasionally made into jewelry. He made a particularly beautiful ring for his mother, and upon her passing, it went to one of her granddaughters. She treasures the ring, not only because it had belonged to her grandmother, but also because Kim had made it. He became an amateur rock expert and could tell you what kind of rock you held in your hand. He amassed quite a collection, large and small. Even some rocks that were quite tiny. His artwork is prized and treasured by family, friends and strangers. He didn't make a lot of money selling his works because he took great joy in just creating. He enjoyed making the art more than selling it.
Kim was a great handyman, always fixing something or finding ways to improve on things, a trait learned from his dad. He was a master at up cycling.
Kim was preceded in death by his parents, and an infant sister Christine, and brother in law Dan Wright.
He is survived by his wife Jera; sons Larry (Jaime) of Dillon, Montana, and Jeramie (Brandy) of Bouse, Arizona; and daughters Misty (Robb) and Tarsha (Cameron) of Kalispell and Kimisha (PJ) of Marion, and 13 grandchildren. He is also survived by his sisters Lisa Hill (Gary) of Olney, and Lana Pettit (Dan) of Columbia Falls; and brothers Greg (Janet) of Olney and Carl (Lisa) of Craig, Alaska, several nieces and nephews, a few aunts and uncles and many many cousins. He also is survived by his three special dogs, Gizmo, Missy and Chewy, who miss Dad a lot.
Kim was loved and cherished by all who knew him and he will be greatly missed. He was a quiet man and fiercely loyal. His family meant the world to him. He had an amazing sense of humor that stayed with him even through the darkest days of his cancer battle.
The Schwegel family would like to thank Frontier Hospice for their assistance and compassion during this trying time.
A memorial service for Kim will be held on December 15, 2019 at 3:00 pm at Smith Valley Grange Hall, Highway 2 West, Kalispell, Montana.
Darlington Funeral Home is caring for the family's needs. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to St. Jude's Children's Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place • Memphis, TN 38105
I hear no voice;
I feel no touch;
I see no glory bright;
Yet I know that God is near
In darkness and in light.
He watches, always by my side
and He hears my whispered prayer.
The Father for his little child
both night and day does care.
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