John P. Schwantes

John Paul DeGroff Schwantes, 93, of Woodstown, NJ, passed away Tuesday, February 6, 2018. Born on March 27, 1924 in Brooklyn, New York, he was the son of the late Paul Charles Schwantes and Glad DeGroff Schwantes. Raised in Larchmont, NY, he graduated from George School in 1943, attended Swarthmore College and graduated in 1952 from Cornell University in chemical engineering.


John Schwantes was a warm, kind, generous, smart, fun-loving and adventurous man. During the Second World War, he was a conscientious objector who served in the Civilian Conservation Corp as a lumberjack/fireman in the American northwest putting out forest fires that may have been set by Japanese incendiary balloons.


He worked for many years as a chemical engineer at DuPont. He was a woodworker and a tinkerer who enjoyed tweaking his table saw and other tools as much as building furniture. An avid churchgoer, he sang in church and community choirs including barbershop quartets, and was a volunteer driver for the American Cancer Society. He traveled throughout Europe, Africa and Asia and the United States on his many vacations with his family, and maintained a sense of curiosity about the world through his later years.


Well into his senior years, he read The Economist each week and shared his opinions about politics, the economy and the environment. On his cherished iMac he created and maintained spreadsheets of the Wii bowling league at the Friend’s Village.


Preceded in death by his first wife, Jane Spencer Schwantes, he is survived by their children John Paul Schwantes, Jr. and Jane Schwantes (George Mavroftas). Following the death of his first wife, he joyfully married Bertha E. Hankin and embraced her children and their families as his own. He is survived by Bertha and her children, Colleen McCourt (Gene), Jane Hankin, Andy Hankin (Lenore), Judi Williams (John), and Elizabeth Brady (John). He is also survived by 13 grandchildren and 26 great-grandchildren.


Should friends desire, memorials in memory of John Schwantes may be made to the Friends Village at 1 Friends Drive, Woodstown, NJ 08098


May his memory be eternal.

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