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Merrill Adam Swarens

Merrill Adam Swarens, the retired funeral director and co-owner of Swarens Funeral Home Inc. in Ramsey, died Friday, Oct. 12, at Floyd Memorial Hospital and Health Services in New Albany. He was 92.
Swarens followed in the footsteps of his father, Charlie Swarens, and his uncle, Edward Adam, who founded the business in 1905.
Merrill Swarens taught for eight years in the early 1930s in two one-room schoolhouses. At the Green Briar and Motts schools, located near New Salisbury, Swarens instructed every subject in every grade.
In the late 1930s, Swarens got his funeral director and embalmer’s license. He became a funeral director shortly thereafter.
He retired due to health reasons in the mid-1980s. That was when his son, Norman, took his place as funeral director.
As the younger ones come on helping the older ones, they just kind of fall in place, Norman said, adding, Even back when I was in high school, and same way with Dad, you get a call and Granddad or my dad would need somebody to help them, and you worked your way into it.
Outside his work, Merrill Swarens enjoyed simple hobbies like walking, gardening and raising apples.
We have always had a nice steady business, Norman said. It never got too much bigger or too much smaller. People in the community have always been nice to call on us when their times are troubled. We’ve always tried to help the best we could.
A native of Ramsey, Merrill Swarens was the son of the late Charles P. and Kate Adam Swarens.
He was an U.S. Army veteran of World War II and a member of the Indiana and National Funeral Directors associations, Harrison Post American Legion 123, Old Lake Club in Ramsey, and Unity Chapel United Methodist Church.
He was preceded in death by his first wife, the former Lois K. Rumbley, and a brother, Robert R. Swarens.
Survivors include his wife, the former Amanda Armstrong; sons Norman Swarens of Ramsey and Jerry A. Swarens of New Salisbury; a stepson, Kenneth Armstrong of Fredericksburg; two stepdaughters, JoAnn Richardson of Salem and Sue Hawkins of Fredericksburg; a sister, Pauline Davis of Ramsey; six grandchildren, six stepgrandchildren, three great-grandchildren and eight stepgreat-grandchildren.
The funeral was Monday, Oct. 15, at Swarens with burial in Woods Chapel Cemetery. The Rev. D. Scott Johnson and Brother Tim Gutknecht officiated. Willa May Schmidt was vocalist, and Mary Lynn Atherton was organist.
Masonic rites were performed Sunday at the funeral home by Crandall Masonic Lodge 591.
Pallbearers were Kristopher Beickman, Noel Korowin, and Jason, Justin, John and Joshua Swarens.