William J. (Bill) Swails, 60, of Broomfield, CO left this world peacefully in the early morning of April 6th after his second hard-fought battle with pneumonia.
Bill was an adventurer and lived his life to the fullest. To him problems were simply challenges with solutions, and he embraced the process to always achieve more.
In his early years, Bill learned the art of getting his way by flashing his crystal blue eyes and being rebellious, making himself the center of attention. He had no fear of consequences, not even from his beloved mother. One such event involved a school field trip shortly after having read Tom Sawyer, which propelled him to forge his own path, apart from the group. He was rewarded with a horseback ride from the park ranger and a warm backside when he got home.
During his early college years, Bill led his engineering class at Muskingum Area Technical College in building an ultra-light aircraft, the first project of that magnitude for the small college. He continued his education at The Ohio State University where he could often be seen riding his unicycle across the main oval on campus. After earning a Bachelor’s in Systems Engineering, he secured a job at McDonnell Douglas in California. While working full-time, Bill took the opportunity to attend the University of California Los Angeles Anderson School of Management, where he excelled in the Master of Business Administration program, eagerly testing the Bass diffusion model, and applying it to investments in America Online. Applied knowledge and careful saving habits provided him with the means to pursue his passions in life.
One of his lifetime passions was photography. As a teenager, Bill crafted a homemade darkroom in his mother’s basement and was rarely without his Nikon camera. This passion opened the door to future travels in various parts of the world including Africa, Nepal, Mexico, Thailand, China, and Morocco to name a few. His accomplishments included summiting Mt. Rainier and many of the “14ers” in Colorado, climbing to base camp of Mount Everest, and riding a motorcycle across the Moroccan Desert.
Bill’s dream and ultimate accomplishment, however, was building his legacy - EarthRoamer. Early on Bill realized the need for a full-function off-road recreational vehicle no matter where one roamed. After trekking in his original camper dubbed the ER2K, his vision and passion for traveling and photography evolved into EarthRoamer, which is now widely known as the leader in the luxury overland industry.
Bill’s moto in life was to “Live Your Dream” and he certainly accomplished that goal and challenged all who knew him to do the same. Bill believed in being a constant mentor to many people during his short time in this world, especially to his siblings Bob Swails, Brenda Hamilton, Brent Swails and Beth Patrick.
Bill lived by this quote from Hunter S. Thompson which reads “Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming "Wow! What a Ride!” Though his life ended too soon, he lived it to the fullest and inspired countless others with his passion and quiet leadership.
Bill is survived by his wife, Pakkaporn (Sine) Swails; her parents, Duang Chonsawat and Nichapa Kaimat; his wife’s nephew, Daechchai Cholsawat; his siblings, Bob (Karen) Swails, Brenda (John) Hamilton, Brent (Charlie) Swails, and Beth Patrick; several nieces and nephews; a host of close friends, and his beloved EarthRoamer family.
He is predeceased by his parents, Lois (Ames) Swails, Joseph F. Swails Jr. and Sue Swails; infant brother, Barry Russell Swails and brother-in-law, Randy Patrick.
A graveside service will be held at Bakersville Cemetery in Bakersville, OH on Saturday, May 7th at 5:00 p.m.
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