Richard D. Swahnberg
May 19, 1923 – November 21, 2018
Richard D. Swahnberg of Keene died November 21, 2018 at RiverMead in Peterborough, NH. He was 95. Richard (Dick) was born on May 19th, 1923 in Keene to Gunnar Swahnberg and Olga Hagland Swahnberg. Dick attended the Keene schools and The Manlius School, NY graduating from Keene High School in 1941. Dick played football at Manlius and KHS and continued to enjoy the sport throughout his life, watching the Patriots and tossing a mini football with his son, Chad, in his final days. Dick received basic and pilot training in Georgia, and when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor this additional threat encouraged Dick and a friend to travel to Canada to enlist in the RCAF. Transferring to the U.S. Army in 1942, Dick attended Colorado State College and joined the Signal Corps just prior to D Day. While in the Army, Dick received the Distinguished Service Medal, the American Theater Ribbon, the Good Conduct Medal, the WWII Victory Medal and the European-African-Middle Eastern Theater Ribbon with 1 Bronze Service Star. Dick married his high school sweetheart, Virginia “Jini” (Hanrahan) in 1944 and they were happily married for 69 years until Jini’s death in 2013. They made their home in Keene and had four children: Nadine Ann, Judith Lisa, Mary Linda and Richard Gunnar (Chad.) Dick and Jini loved entertaining their friends and family by their pool, and in later years, at their condo in Naples, Florida. He also loved spending time at Spofford Lake cottages and sunset cruises on the party boat. After the war, Dick attended UNH and studied Mechanical Engineering prior to his acceptance as a Kingsbury Machine Tool Corporation Trainee in 1948. There he had a 35-year career in both Sales Engineering and Advertising Management until his retirement in 1983. In the 1950’s and 1960’s, Dick was active in the Keene Lions Club and fundraising for both the Elliot Community Hospital and the Cheshire Medical Center, as well as Captain of the Keene YMCA Building Drive. He was an advisor for Junior Achievement and Director of the Senior Citizens in 1964. From 1967 until 1981, Dick was President of the Wing Kings Flying Club and enjoyed piloting their shared Cessna aircraft until he was grounded by his heart condition. He loved old movies and books, especially about WW II and airplanes, and adored Big Band Music and Marches. He is survived by his daughter Nadine Swahnberg and husband Anthony Malensek of Lakewood, Colo., daughter Judith Swahnberg and husband Carl Novotny of Wellesley, Mass., daughter Mary Piro and husband Robert Piro of Norwich, Vermont, and son Richard G. Swahnberg and wife Kathrine Piper of Keene, his sisters-in-law, Margaret “Peggy” Hanrahan and Joyce Hanrahan. He loved being “Poppy” to his grandchildren Matthew Malensek, Chad Novotny, Ryan Novotny, Nicholas Novotny, Kathryn Novotny, Samantha Piro, Jacquelyn Piro, and Lily Swahnberg, and his 8 great-grandchildren. He is also survived by his many beloved nieces and nephews, as well as his dear friend Birgit Morse. He is predeceased by his wife, Virginia, his sister, Norma Swahnberg Stone, and brothers-in-law Charles Hanrahan and Edward (Jack) Hanrahan. A Funeral Service and Celebration of Dick’s life will be held at the Fletcher Funeral Home at 33 Marlborough Street in Keene, at 10 am on Wednesday, November 28th. The family invites all to join us for luncheon and to continue sharing our remembrances at the Keene Country Club at 11:45 am. Burial will be at Monadnock View Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, expressions of sympathy may be made to: Plowshare Farm (501c3), 32 Whitney Drive, Greenfield, NH 03047 or the charity of your choice in memory of Richard Swahnberg.
- Funeral Service Wednesday, November 28, 2018
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