James Maximilian Swetlik, 23, of Appleton, passed away unexpectedly on Friday, September 11, 2020. He was born on September 22, 1996 in Appleton, WI, the loving and loved son of James and Emily (Mrotek) Swetlik. He enjoyed attending Appleton private (St. Bernadette) and Appleton Public Schools (Huntley, Franklin, Roosevelt) in childhood and graduated from Appleton North in 2015.
James loved to serve others and was a proud member of the National Guard. After high school, he attended UW-Whitewater for three semesters before obtaining a Commercial Driver’s License and seeing the nation as a cross-country, big-rig truck driver. He voluntarily deployed to Afghanistan in 2019, and serving his country there was his most treasured accomplishment. He served in several units in the historic 32nd Infantry Division. Upon returning, he worked at ACE Hardware throughout the COVID pandemic. His hobbies included baseball in his youth and DECA, track, cross-country, and downhill skiing in high school. He was an exceptional writer, and he loved to read, especially American and European history. James loved traveling. He enjoyed trips with his family to the East Coast, Little Rock, and New Orleans and seeing historical sites, especially Holy Hill. He spent summer months exploring Wisconsin with his friends and family.
James is survived by his parents, James David and Emily Swetlik of Appleton, WI, as well as his sister Carol Swetlik and her fiancé Mark Opal of Cleveland, OH. They are grieving their loss but grateful for the short time they had with him.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held for the public on Thursday September 17, 2020 at 11:00 AM at St. Joseph Catholic Church 404 W. Lawrence St. Appleton, WI. with visitation to begin at the church at 10:00 AM. A Visitation will also be held the day before on Wednesday, September 16, 2020 from 3:00 PM to 6:00 PM at Valley Funeral Home 2211 N. Richmond St. Appleton, WI. Burial to take place after Mass. Flowers and gifts may be directed to Valley Funeral Home.
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