Folsom Funeral Service

Swain, Philip C. Sr.

Philip C. Swain, Sr. 93, of Walpole, Massachusetts, passed away peacefully on October 3, 2022.

Phil was the son of Franklin and Grace (Daigle) Swain.  He was born and grew up in Marblehead, Massachusetts, with his older brother, Franklin, Jr., in a home their father built. Phil and his peers naturally took to the water and learned to sail; he once had to be rescued by the Coast Guard after an errant wind sent his boat out into the open Atlantic. His lifelong interest in tinkering started early and led him to develop a highly dubious apparatus for exploring the bottom of Marblehead Harbor—an inverted metal bucket with shoulder cut-outs, a plate of welder’s glass for ‘vision’ and air supplied by a long hose with a bicycle pump on a raft. Phil played football at Marblehead High and Huntington Prep School, graduating in 1947.  He served in the Army during the Korean War, stationed in Germany with the 206th Field Artillery Battalion as a radar facility operator.  He enrolled at Lowell Technological Institute (now UMass Lowell) in 1953, where he met his future wife, Shirley (Tessier). They were married in 1955 and had 63 years together before Shirley’s passing in 2018.

Phil graduated from Lowell Tech in 1957 with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering,  and began his career as an engineer at Goodyear Corp. in Akron, Ohio, where his three children were born. In 1966 the family moved to Norwood, Massachusetts, where Phil worked  as a process control engineer for the Foxboro Company, HH Aerospace, Bechtel Corp., and the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority.  He was a registered Professional Engineer.

Phil set down deep roots in the town of Norwood, and was active in the community. He coached youth sports, became a Town Meeting Member, and served for over 40 years as a member and eventually as chair of the Permanent Building Construction Committee, which oversaw, among other projects, the building of the new Norwood High School and the renovation of the town hall, the police and fire station, and Norwood’s Morrill Memorial Library. He also served as a member of the vestry and Senior Warden at Grace Episcopal Church.

Phil loved adventures, large and small. With his sons he hiked Mt. Katahdin and part of the Appalachian Trail, canoed and camped on Moosehead Lake in Maine, hiked in the White Mountains, and took many excursions around coastal Massachusetts in his old wooden Lapstrake-style boat. After retirement he and Shirley took many memorable trips and cruises, including passage through the Panama Canal.

Phil lived a rich, interesting life. He was a devoted son and husband and patient father to his three children. He loved hearing about and keeping up with the exploits of his four grandchildren, who adored him. He tried his hand at a few small inventions, more out of curiosity than ambition. Phil was even-keeled, easy-going, a natural storyteller, friendly and generous in conversation.  He took pleasure in memorializing many of his experiences in humorous stories to preserve for his children and grandchildren. He treated everyone the same, was deeply loved by his family, and well-liked by his many lifelong friends and his newer friends at New Pond Village in Walpole, where he resided and remained fully active right up until the time of his death.

He is survived by his three children, Philip Jr. (Roseanne) of Concord, Massachusetts, David (Linda) of San Rafael, California, and Carol of Alexandria, Virginia;  his four cherished grandchildren, Daniel, Kimberly,  William, and Jennifer; and his nephews Franklin Swain III and Mark Swain, and his niece Sandra Swain Bromwell.

Phil took life as it came and generally liked what he found. He will be very deeply missed by all who knew him. A memorial service will be held at Grace Episcopal Church in Norwood on Saturday, November 12 at 12:00 p.m.  In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Grace Episcopal Church, 150 Chapel St, Norwood, Massachusetts 02062.

Guestbook Entries

  1. J.R. Zahorsky
    October 31st, 2022 | 4:07 pm

    My you Rest In Peace old friend
    Our (Jean and I) friendship with you and Shirley and the rest of our group has leaft us with many pleasant and enjoyable memories having a good times together. We will miss you
    Life was good.

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Folsom Funeral Service

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