Andrew (Skip) W. Szwejbka Jr., 66, of Dunkirk passed away unexpectedly Saturday morning, July 30, 2016 at home.He was born June 5, 1950 in Dunkirk, son of the late Andrew W. and Barbara (Gestwicki) Szwejbka Sr.A graduate of Dunkirk High School in 1968, he received a degree in civil engineering from Erie Community College in 1970.
A veteran of the US Navy, Andrew served on the USS Wm. Wood DD 715 during the Vietnam era. Traveling aboard this destroyer warship afforded him the opportunity to experience the culture of many distant lands. The USS Wood's main mission was to conduct surveillance of the Soviet fleet in the Mediterranean and Black Seas.Andrew was a retired employee of New York State DOT, where he worked from 1975 to 2005. During this time he was one of the civil engineers overseeing construction of the Chautauqua Lake Bridge, one of his most fulfilling and enjoyable projects. Following his retirement from the state he worked for various private construction companies as a civil engineer.An avid swimmer and life guard at Wright Park Pool and Beach in his younger days, he was also an excellent sailor who built several sailboats in his parents' garage and participated in numerous regattas on Lake Erie.Later in life Andrew enjoyed cooking, fishing, golfing and hunting. His love of reading on worldwide issues enabled him to participate in many a lively discussion. One of the highlights of Andrew's life was fulfilling his role of godfather to his nephew Matthew, always following and delighting in his personal and professional accomplishments.Andrew will always be remembered for his generous heart, dry sense of humor and strong work ethic.He will be sadly missed by all who knew him. Memberships include First Ward Falcon Club and National ARRL (Association for Amateur Radio).Surviving is his brother Stephen F. (Deborah) Szwejbka of Jamestown, sister Eva Hanley of North Carolina, and nephew Matthew S. (Vanessa) Szwejbka of Syracuse.Relatives and friends are welcome to call from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Tuesday, August 9 at the R. Mackowiak Funeral Home Inc., 56 East Doughty Street in Dunkirk, with a Christian Memorial service to follow at 1 p.m.Donations in memory of Andrew made be made to the American Heart Association.