AVOCA - When Logan and Bertha Swinehart serve as the designated parade marshals for the March 19 Avoca St. Patrick’s Parade, they will be traveling across familiar streets as both have long histories of involvement in the community. Some of Logie’s family dates back to Blackhawk War days of the 1800s.
Logie and Bert were married April 12, 1969, after he had served in the U.S. Army with extended duty in Vietnam that included exposure to Agent Orange, a chemical that is still causing problems for him and many veterans of that war.
They have three children – John of Avoca, Daniel of
Mineral Point and serves as Highland Chief of Police, and Gina of Bethlehem, Georgia, who has told her parents she will be bringing something special for them to wear during the parade.
Looking back, Logie was an Avoca fireman for 42 years and Bert served on the village rescue squad for 34 years. Both are long-time members of the Avoca American Legion Post. Bert takes pride in the fact that she was born at home, with Dr. Bertha Reynolds, the famous pioneer physician who served the area, assisting the birth,
The Swineharts also have a long business history. Logie’s parents, Mac and Florence, operated Mac’s Bar in downtown Avoca for 35 years. Logie and Bert continued to operate the business for another 20 years. After selling the tavern Bert worked as a full-time employee at Lands End in Dodgeville for 24 years and Logie went to work at the Easy Stop in Avoca.
Logie, an avid hunter and outdoorsman, has numerous trophies on display at home. His dad and Buck Wanek organized the Avoca Rod and Gun Club in 1936. That group continues to be a source for pheasants for area hunters. Bert enjoyed time with the Riverdale Community Choir, a group that performed at concerts in the area.
Local athletics have also been a passion for the Swineharts. Logie was a member of the last Avoca High School teams before Avoca joined the Riverdale district in 1960. He was also the organizer of a 16-team softball league that served this area and has done officiating. Watching grandkids and other local young people play sports is still a favorite pass time for the couple.The St. Pat’s Parade will be an opportunity for area folks to wave and thank the Swineharts for their many years of community service.