The Odessa Record -

Tribute

Robert Lewis Sewall "Shorty"

 

December 14, 2017

Bob was born July 31, 1923 in New Castle, Pa. and passed away on December 5, 2017 in Spokane. His home was in Harrington for over 67 years until moving to Spokane's Fairwinds Northpointe retirement community in 2015. He was preceded in death by his wife of 49 years, Carol Uhrich Sewall, his parents, Edward and Mary, brother Harold, sisters Alice and Emma, and his long time companion, Shirley Swartz. He is survived by their three daughters: Ilona Wiley (Larry), Spokane, Heidi Sewall, Woodinville, Wash. and Amy Philadelphia (Michael), Owings Mills, Md .; three granddaughters, Allayna Philadelphia, Fiona Kelley and Alicia Philadelphia; one brother, Edward Sewall, Harrington, as well as numerous nieces and nephews.

Shorty came west into Washington state with the Civilian Conservation Corps in 1940 and was stationed at Entiat. Next he moved to Odessa, where he found work with local farmers. He was drafted into the Army in 1943 and stationed with the 913th Field Artillery Battalion, which was assigned to the 88th Infantry Division serving in Italy. He was wounded during his term and received the Purple Heart medal. He was discharged in 1945 at the end of World War II. Shorty joined the Odessa chapter of the American Legion/VFW Post 7395 and received his 70-year pin in 2016.

He began playing the guitar and singing during his early years in Pennsylvania, once entering and winning a contest broadcast by a local radio station. For many years he sang and played guitar with a bluegrass band in Lincoln County, Wash., the Rocky Coulee Ramblers.

Professionally, he owned his own excavation business which served customers in Lincoln, Adams and Grant counties. He worked on excavation of a site which became the music building at Washington State University. His wife Carol took care of the bookkeeping and made parts runs for him.

During the summer weekends since 1960, Bob and his family spent most of their weekends at their lake home near Porcupine Bay on Lake Roosevelt. In retirement, Shorty and Carol vacationed in the winter in a motor home and spent time traveling in the southwest area. In later years after Carol passed, he and his long-time companion, Shirley Swartz, wintered in Yuma, Ariz.

Graveside and memorial services were held Saturday, December 9, 2017 at the Hillcrest Cemetery, Harrington, with a memorial service that followed at the Christ Lutheran Church in Odessa. Memorials may be made to the Hillcrest Cemetery Maintenance Fund, (Box 492, Harrington WA 99134) or the Odessa Museum, (Judy Scrupps, 2941 King Ranch Rd. North, Odessa WA 99159) or Christ Lutheran Church in Odessa, (Box 400, Odessa WA 99159). Please sign the online guestbook at http://www.stratefuneralhome.com. Strate Funeral Home, Davenport, is caring for the Sewall family.

 

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