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Gary Swan
Crossed the Bar
May 28, 2011

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Obituary & Services


Obituaries
Gary L. Swan
May 30, 2011 12:00 am
RUMFORD — Gary L. Swan, 61, a resident of Juneau, Alaska, died Saturday, May 28, at Rumford Hospital following a long illness.

He was born in Rumford on Nov. 2, 1949, a son of Henry E. and Joyce H. Spencer Swan.

Gary graduated from Gould Academy in Bethel, Class of 1968, and the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in 1972. He served 20 years in the U.S. Coast Guard, retiring as a lieutenant commander in 1992.

After retiring from the Coast Guard he was employed by the State of Alaska Highway Department for 10 years.

Gary was also a partner for 18 years with his brother, Tim, at Au Jewelers in Rumford.

He will be remembered as a devoted brother, brother-in-law, uncle and friend to many.

Gary loved hunting, fishing, playing cribbage and rides to Rangeley.

Surviving are four brothers, Terry Swan and wife, Sandra, of Exeter, N.H., Jody Swan of Lacey, Wash., Timothy Swan and wife, Evelyn, of Rumford and Robert Swan and wife, Barbara, of Palmer, Alaska.; and many nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews.

He was predeceased by his parents; and brothers, Allen and Ralph Swan.

You are invited to share your thoughts, condolences and fond memories with the Swan family by visiting their guestbook at www.SGThibaultFuneralHome.com.


From: "Kevin Scheid"
To: "ClAss Of 72" , "James Meyer" , "'John Rodgers"
Sent: Friday, June 3, 2011 6:30:38 AM
Subject: Gary Swan Memorial

Tom Meyers an Steve Osmer attended the memorial service for Gary Swan last Wednesday. This is what they reported:

The Memorial Service for Gary reflected what we all knew – he was a wonderful brother to his family and a great classmate. It was a very short and straightforward memorial service – not unlike Gary. An 8 x 10 picture of Gary receiving his diploma from Vice President Agnew was on the altar. The pastor gave a nice eulogy and spoke glowingly about Gary’s Coast Guard service, as well as his closeness to his family.

As you know, there is a striking family resemblance and it wasn’t hard to pick out his family. Steve Osmer and I got a chance to speak with them and I shared a few of your stories during the reception in the church hall. There were many pictures of Gary in a collage and of course spanned his USCG time as well as other highlights in his life. LOTS of family pictures and many of fishing!

 I also passed on the condolences of the rest of the class and specifically named other classmates that I heard from separately who may have been closer to Gary at the Academy or during our careers.

They very much appreciated that we were there. Anyway, just wanted to report back to you this morning. Warm regards. Tom

If anyone still wants to make an entry, I believe the guest book is still open.
http://www.sunjournal.com/obits

www.sunjournal.com/obituaries/story/1037810?sms_ss=email&at_xt=4de4fa8dd776fc7b%2C0
Kevin Scheid


From: "Terry Newell"
To: "Kevin Scheid"
Cc: Class of 72, "Tom and Marti Meyers" , "'John Rodgers"
Sent: Tuesday, May 31, 2011 5:29:35 PM
Subject: Re: Gary Swan memorial

Kevin, Well done, Mate! You captured the essence of the Duck and will honor his memoy with your pungent recollections and kind words. I'm sure everyone at the funeral will be touched by your heartfelt comments. Warmest Regards, Newelli Sends

On Mon, May 30, 2011 at 5:21 PM, Kevin Scheid wrote:


So far, Tom Meyers is the only classmate that I have heard who is attending the memorial service for Gary Swan. He has offered to represent our class and read anything anyone might want to pass along for the benefit of the family and friends in attendance. Below are a few stories from my memories I thought Tom could read at the service. I thought they might might bring back memories for others.
Tom, don't feel obligated to read all of this, I appreciate reading whatever you feel comfortable with.
Thanks,

From Kevin Scheid,


From: "Meyers,Tom"
Date: May 31, 2011 7:36:23 AM PDT
To: Kevin Scheid

Subject: Obituary for Gary L. Swan | Sun Journal

Kevin: fyi

http://www.sunjournal.com/obits

www.sunjournal.com/obituaries/story/1037810?sms_ss=email&at_xt=4de4fa8dd776fc7b%2C0

Obituaries
Gary L. Swan
May 30, 2011 12:00 am
RUMFORD — Gary L. Swan, 61, a resident of Juneau, Alaska, died Saturday, May 28, at Rumford Hospital following a long illness.

He was born in Rumford on Nov. 2, 1949, a son of Henry E. and Joyce H. Spencer Swan.

Gary graduated from Gould Academy in Bethel, Class of 1968, and the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in 1972. He served 20 years in the U.S. Coast Guard, retiring as a lieutenant commander in 1992.

After retiring from the Coast Guard he was employed by the State of Alaska Highway Department for 10 years.

Gary was also a partner for 18 years with his brother, Tim, at Au Jewelers in Rumford.

He will be remembered as a devoted brother, brother-in-law, uncle and friend to many.

Gary loved hunting, fishing, playing cribbage and rides to Rangeley.

Surviving are four brothers, Terry Swan and wife, Sandra, of Exeter, N.H., Jody Swan of Lacey, Wash., Timothy Swan and wife, Evelyn, of Rumford and Robert Swan and wife, Barbara, of Palmer, Alaska.; and many nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews.

He was predeceased by his parents; and brothers, Allen and Ralph Swan.

You are invited to share your thoughts, condolences and fond memories with the Swan family by visiting their guestbook at www.SGThibaultFuneralHome.com.


From: "Tom and Marti Meyers"
To: "Kevin Scheid" , "cga 72"
Sent: Monday, May 30, 2011 2:11:10 PM
Subject: RE: Gary Swan, more information

Kevin: You may wish to send out anther announcement to classmates.....

First, if anyone is coming up for the funeral, Marti and I would be able to
have some stay at our house either Tuesday or Wednesday night. We live in
Cape Elizabeth in the greater Portland area near Portland Head Lighthouse.
We could also recommend places to stay if they prefer...

Second, if any of Gary's close classmates or friends - or the class of 72
in general - would like me to convey a personal message or special
remembrance to the family, I would be honored to do so on our behalf.

Tom Meyers


From: "Kevin Scheid"
To: Class of 72, "Tom and Marti Meyers" , "'John Rodgers"
Sent: Monday, May 30, 2011 5:21:49 PM
Subject: Gary Swan memorial

So far, Tom Meyers is the only classmate that I have heard who is attending the memorial service for Gary Swan. He has offered to represent our class and read anything anyone might want to pass along for the benefit of the family and friends in attendance. Below are a few stories from my memories I thought Tom could read at the service. I thought they might might bring back memories for others.
Tom, don't feel obligated to read all of this, I appreciate reading whatever you feel comfortable with.
Thanks,

From Kevin Scheid,

I considered Gary to be a very close friend at the Academy and we served together on our first ship, the Cutter Munro out of Boston. I’m not going to make it to the memorial service, but wanted to share a few thoughts and stories about Gary ‘Duck’ Swan. Tom Meyers has offered to read some of this during the memorial.

Duck and I became roommates third class year and got along pretty well. Although I must admit I had some misgivings because he had a reputation for being pretty hard headed. To be fair, I think I may have had the same reputation. In the Spring we were both on the baseball team as bench warmers. He was a catcher and I was a pitcher. We got our first chance to show our stuff on the second game of a double hitter after the first string got beaten by a bunch of short guys with glasses and slide-rules from MIT. We ended up winning the game but it took forever because I kept waving off the pitches Duck was calling. He wanted me to throw fast balls because he said my curve ball sucked. I wanted to throw curve balls because I kept hitting the little guys with my fastball. After two innings of this the coach had a little one-way conversation with us and accused us of both being hard headed. I was shocked that the coach put me in that same ‘hard headed’ category as Duck so I yielded and followed Duck’s calls. I hate to admit it, but Duck was right. Because I hit the batters, they became afraid and did not hit my fastball. Of course I never let Duck know I thought he was right. He didn’t need my opinion on that since he already knew he was right.

Duck was well known for having strong opinions on things and a vast storehouse of knowledge. One night a few of us went for a drink at a local bar which had a trivia contest going. Well Duck had a few too many so wasn’t keeping up with all the trivia until they asked “What city in the US produced the most paper?” Duck immediately responded with “Rumford”. “No” the answer came back – “Rumford” a little more insistent – ‘No, the answer is still not Rumford” was the reply. Four or more iterations with an increasing crescendo yielded an ejection from the bar for Duck and all his friends. Some of the girls in our party were mortified at getting kicked out of a New London bar, but this did not stop Duck. After all, when you’re right, you’re right. So he continued to yell “RUMFORD” at the building, in the car and back at Chase Hall for the next several days. Duck was clearly winning the contest for being the most hard-headed as far as I was concerned.

Another fond memory of Duck was the numerous visits to his house up in Bangor Maine. I really enjoyed the visits but eventually got the feeling I was the entertainment for the family. They all seemed to really enjoy when Tim, who was 8 years old at the time, would beat me in Chess in three moves. I was good for another laugh at my inability to adjust to the cold climate and rustic conditions in Maine. I think it made Ducks day when I got lost in the woods hunting. This was especially delightful for Duck because I had accused him on several occasions of being “wrong way Duck” after he had gotten us lost. To this day I believe Duck gave me the wrong directions and sent me half way to Canada.

Senior year Duck and I along with a couple of others decided to go to Florida for Spring break. Four of us stuffed into my Camaro and we drove straight to Ft. Lauderdale FL. It was a pretty hectic week with swimming, sunning, partying and camping. Four people stuck in a small car and a small tent over the course of a week resulted in some tense relationships. However, Duck seemed oblivious to the tension until it got too much then he simply climbed up a tree and went to sleep. The three of us remaining on the ground were worried he would fall, but could not wake him up. So we let him spend the night in the tree and saw him the next morning with his usual big grin as if nothing had happened. I figured it must be some sort of Maine hunting trick or something, but it seemed to work. The final evening it rained in the everglades. Around midnight after having a little too much to drink and too much sun, we returned to discover our tent along with all our belonging were soaking in a foot of water. We stuffed our rain-swollen possessions in the tiny trunk and started the 24 hour drive around 1AM. Three of us thought that this was the worst trip ever. Duck had a great time.

Duck was the real thing. He was comfortable with who he was and never put on pretenses. You could believe what he said because he believed it. He was authentic. He had high integrity. He did what he thought was right and once he set his eye on a course of action, few people could turn him from it. He knew how to be a good friend. He was loyal, you could always count on him and he had a big heart. Even though we had gone on different paths and grown apart over the last 35+ years, he is a friend that I will miss dearly. His death feels like a door that has been shut forever to a part of my life.

Kevin Scheid


From: "Michael Crye"
To: "Tom and Marti Meyers"
Cc: "Kevin Scheid" , "cga 72"
Sent: Monday, May 30, 2011 2:23:14 PM
Subject: Re: Gary Swan, more information

Gary was a good guy. Didn't see him much after graduation but remember him fondly as a decent man and loyal friend.

Pardon my brevity, I have responded from my handheld device.

Michael Crye


From: "Tom and Marti Meyers"
To: "Kevin Scheid" , "cga 72"
Sent: Monday, May 30, 2011 2:11:10 PM
Subject: RE: Gary Swan, more information

Kevin: You may wish to send out anther announcement to classmates.....

First, if anyone is coming up for the funeral, Marti and I would be able to
have some stay at our house either Tuesday or Wednesday night. We live in
Cape Elizabeth in the greater Portland area near Portland Head Lighthouse.
We could also recommend places to stay if they prefer...

Second, if any of Gary's close classmates or friends - or the class of 72
in general - would like me to convey a personal message or special
remembrance to the family, I would be honored to do so on our behalf.

Tom Meyers


From: Kevin Scheid
To: cga 72
Sent: Mon, May 30, 2011 6:01 am
Subject: Gary Swan, more information

 Additional information on Gary Swan:
 
 Funeral services for Gary will be held at 2PM, Wednesday June 1 at the Mexico
Congregational Church located on Route 2, Mexico, Maine. The closest large
airport to Mexico Maine is in Portland ME. If you are planning on attending and
need more information, please contact Tim Swan at 207-357-9880.
 
 Kevin Scheid