Erik John “Rik” Schwendeman died Friday, April 2, 2021 after a brief illness.
He was born June 19, 1952 in Sewickley, Pennsylvania to Anne (Jarowey) and Louis Schwendeman, and grew up in the suburbs of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He attended Wabash College in Crawfordsville, Indiana and graduated from Washington and Jefferson College in Washington, Pennsylvania with a Bachelor of Science in Physics. He earned his Master’s degree in Physics and Astronomy from the University of New Mexico, and was employed as an optical engineer in New Mexico and Massachusetts for 25 years. He and his wife of 41 years, Ruth (Larson) Schwendeman moved to Fincastle, Virginia eleven years ago.
He was a kind and quiet man with many talents and interests. Among his avocations were citizen astronomer for worldwide data gathering organization, piloting motorized and glider airplanes, long distance cycling, bicycle repair, woodworking, gardening, conservation, and a supporter of many charitable causes.
Rik is survived by his wife Ruth of Fincastle; sister, Judi Race (and family) of Fincastle; brother, David Schwendeman (and family) of North Carolina, brother, Jim Schwendeman (and family) of Indiana.
A family memorial gathering is planned.
In lieu of flowers, he would have appreciated donations to Doctors without Borders USA,
P.O. Box 5030, Hagerstown, MD 21741-5030; or Feeding America Southwest Virginia, 1025 Electric Road Salem, Virginia 24153; or a charitable cause of one’s choice.
Online condolences may be made to the family at www.rader-funeralhome.com.
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