Alfred P. Schwindt
8-17-1930 - 9-20-2021
Al passed away peacefully at home with his family by his side after two recent hospital stays. He is survived by his beloved wife Jeanette, sons Albert (Kristi) Schwindt, Littleton and Jack (Jessica) Schwindt, Des Moines, IA, daughters Mary Jo (Dennis) Mills, Montrose, CO and Cindy (Nick) Duran, Albuquerque, NM, as well as 10 grandchildren and 8 great-grandchildren.
Al was born to Albert and Mary Schwindt the third oldest of seven children that included Albert, Betty (husband Robert) Vogt and Robert (wife Maxine) Schwindt who all predeceased him, and Mary Ann (husband Jim) Vogt, Dorothy (husband Joe) Schiel and Ginny (husband Ken) Rozmariak. His parents immigrated with their families to the United States as young children from Russia shortly after the turn of the 20th Century, sailing across the ocean on the same ship. Their families were Germans who farmed in Russia and were forced to leave due to political instability, leaving for the same reasons others have and will, striving for a better life for themselves and their children. Al's family settled in Northeastern Colorado and primarily farmed sugar beets. They ended up in Denver and eventually Albert and Mary built their home on South Grant Street in Englewood.
Al was raised there, attended school at St. Louis Parish where his family were members and later graduated from St. Francis high school in 1948. He joined the Coast Guard and served from 1950 to 1953, spending the majority of his hitch as an engine man on a ship in the Aleutian Islands in Alaska. Some of his happiest days and nights occurred during his time in the service. He made some life long friends and was educated about ways of different people, places and experiences. He had many stories from those days and wouldn't hesitate to recount them when prompted, or not.
He turned down an offer to remain in the Coast Guard past his initial stretch, heading back to Englewood and finding work with the Bureau of Reclamation at the Denver Federal Center in Lakewood. He learned his trade running a printing press eventually joining the Government Printing Office where he worked as a pressman, retiring as a supervisor in 1987.
Al didn't stay retired long taking a job as a Starter at Englewood Golf Course. Working there made sense as he was an avid golfer and had played and loved the game for years. He was able to work with a number of his old Englewood friends and made many more (sometimes with a free round of golf) during those years. He was member of the Englewood Men's Golf Club for over 30 years, always competing but also having fun no matter what he shot. He had deft touch on and around the green and was always an excellent putter. He was a natural competitor at everything from horse shoes to cards to betting on football games, mostly with family where he would flaunt his wins and bemoan his losses. In later years he and Jeanette would make many trips “up on the hill” to Central City/Blackhawk to play video poker, hopefully coming home with more money than they brought. He won far more than he lost at just about everything he tried, as he was a naturally lucky person.
Al and Jeanette were married in June of 1955 in Englewood. They were together for 66 years and virtually inseparable, never away from each other for very long. After settling in Englewood and having their first child Albert, they bought their first home in the Athmar neighborhood in Southwest Denver and had their second child Mary Jo in 1957. They purchased their second home in 1962 in the Green Mountain neighborhood of Lakewood where they lived happily for 59 years. Early in their marriage Al often worked two jobs to provide for his family and for many years worked the night shift, affording him more time for golf. He wasn't the handiest of homeowners, often relying on his favorite fix – two sided tape to repair just about everything.
Al and Jeanette hoped for a larger family and their prayers were answered when they were blessed with their son Jack in 1969 and their daughter Cindy in 1972. Their lives together were filled with happy times that included monthly card games of “31” with friends where the beer flowed, the Mexican food was hot and the laughter loud enough to annoy the neighbors. Family get togethers included the free-for-alls known as “Schwindt Family Picnics” where there was plenty of food, drink, games and laughter for all. They hosted New Year's Day celebrations watching endless bowl games with Al betting and ribbing his nephews when underdogs would come through for him.
Al loved playing and watching sports his whole life. He played football in high school, fast pitch softball for various Englewood establishments (bars) as a younger man and was an avid hunter and fisherman, activities he learned from and participated in with his dad, family and friends. He spoke fondly of visiting his aunts, uncles and cousins in Illiff and Fort Morgan, Colorado and attending German weddings known as “Dutch Hops” that sometimes lasted for days. He was proud of his heritage and upbringing and didn't have a pretentious bone in his body. He accepted his place in life and was comfortable in his own skin. He was a prolific joke teller, keeping the room in hysterics with stories that these days might not be politically correct, but people loved. Al enjoyed “old school” country music and loved listening to his favorites like Jim Reeves, Eddy Arnold, Faron Young and Marty Robbins among many others. When he was younger, he would sing the lyrics to “I've Got Five Dollars and its Saturday Night” before heading out for a night on the town. He had many friends but his best buddies included Marvin Raffensberger, Clyde Lundeen, Bob Smilanic, Tom Young and his brother-in-law and golf partner Joe Schiel.
Al was a voracious reader, often having two or more books going at once. Being well read he loved to argue, often playing the devil's advocate and taking the other side prompting a spirited debate. He was a life long Democrat who espoused liberal beliefs and championed the common man. He supported union causes and continued to pay union dues even after he was promoted to management. He abhorred racism and softened his views on other social issues as he grew older. He lived his life simply, worked hard, played hard, believed in self-reliance and was generous to those in need. He will be missed dearly by his family and those who knew him well.
A funeral mass for Al will be held at Christ on the Mountain Church, 13922 W. Utah Avenue, Lakewood, Colorado, Friday October 1, 2021 at 11:00 a.m., with reception to follow at the church. Interment will be at Fort Logan National Cemetery at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to: