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Mike Swoboda
Please vote to return to collections (Voting Results will appear on Right Sidebar).
    (September 1938-September 6, 2008)
    Mayor of Kirkwood, Missouri (2000-08)
    Survived being shot twice in the head by Charles Thornton during the Kirkwood City Council shooting (February 7, 2008)
    Died of a combination of complications from the shooting, a skull fracture and cancer at age 69
    At times he wore glasses that didn't fit his face correctly.
    He was described by councilmen as having a 'very intense style of leadership' and 'stepping on a few toes during his time.'
    Recovering from his wounds, he fell down at home in May 2008 and fractured his skull.
    Two days before he died, acting Kirkwood mayor Art McDonnell stated Swoboda's favorite quote was 'Kirkwood is lavished with history, traversed by railroads, shaded under tall trees, bordered by a wandering river and filled to the brim with good people.' (that's a long-winded favorite quote indeed)
    After he was cremated, his son Michael said his father's ashes will be spread where 'deemed appropriate.' (say what?)
    He was married to the same woman for 42 years until his death.
    He was a Kirkwood resident for 39 years until his death.
    Besides mayor, he was the city's former finance commissioner and a police/fire commissioner.
    Other notable positions held included president of the Kirkwood Historical Society, Kirkwood School District Foundation, Kirkwood Lions Club and the Kirkwood Garden Club, as well as a member of the Energy, Environment and Natural Resources Steering Committee for the National League of Cities.
    He did volunteer work in the community - his son stating, 'I don't think you could tally up the volunteer work and hours of public service. He thrived on doing that sort of thing. With him, it's his reason for being.'
    The gunman that shot him murdered five people at Kirkwood City Hall before being killed by police.
    He miraculously survived being wounded in the back of the head and having one bullet enter his jaw and exit his cheek (see picture).
    He achieved his goal of returning to City Hall for his final council meeting as mayor (April 17, 2008), 2½ months after the shooting, stating, 'There is no place I'd rather be.'

Credit: Scar Tactics

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