James Howard Sweiger
James Howard Sweiger, 90, passed away peacefully January 16, 2015 at his residence in Maple Valley, Washington, with family at his side. He had been battling a rare condition, amyloidosis, for just over a year.
Dr. Jim, as he was commonly known, was born October 1, 1924 near Maysville, Missouri, on a family farm. His parents were Howard William and Elma Sweiger. He rode by horseback to grade school, and graduated from high school in 1941 earning top honors. He obtained his college degree in premedical studies at Central Methodist College, Fayette, Missouri, in 1944, followed by medical school and internship at Washington University St. Louis. There he met his wife, Annadelle, an RN and in 1949, moved back to Maysville where he practiced solo family medicine for 18 years.
Dr. Jim served in the Army as commanding officer of the 501st armored medical company in Germany for two years returning to his solo practice in Maysville in 1957. He was a true country Dr., the only M.D. in the County at the time, and made home calls every day after office hours were over. He delivered over 800 babies in his career of 55 years.
In 1969, Dr. Jim moved 30 miles to join three physicians (Drs Mabrey, Luckenbill, and Ozenberger) at the Plattsburg Medical Clinic in Plattsburg, Mo, where he remained until his move in 1999 to Maple Valley, Washington, to be closer to family and to practice medicine alongside his son, David, at Maple Valley Medical Clinic.
Dr. Jim was active in the Christian Church of both Maysville and Plattsburg and the Presbyterian Church in Maple Valley and volunteered many years at the Maple Valley food bank.
His primary hobby was raising and personally training high show quality Palomino quarter horses. He and his wife were elected into the Palomino exhibitors Hall of Fame in Lexington Kentucky June 1994. Other achievements included Dr. of the month for Missouri Medical Association, long-term preceptor of numerous medical students, long-term member of the AMA, AAFP, vice president of Grand River Medical Society in Missouri, and Rotarian. He also enjoyed playing the piano and baking.
Dr. Jim was most admired for his gentle manner and always putting others before himself. He was a superb empathetic clinician and was well respected in the communities he served. He will be greatly missed and impossible to replace. He is survived by two sons, Paul and David, eight grandchildren, twelve great-grandchildren, and his brother, Emory who just turned 100 and still resides on the family farm.
His Memorial service will be held on Saturday, February 7 at 1 PM at Maple Valley Presbyterian Church in Maple Valley, Washington. A time of remembrance and celebration of his life will occur in Maysville Missouri on Saturday, March 14, 11 AM at the June Conley building. Any Memorial donations can be made to the food bank at the local community of the donation.