Folsom Funeral Service

Swain, Shirley I.

Shirley I. Swain, 84, longtime resident of Norwood, Massachusetts and native of Lowell, beloved wife of Philip C. Swain, and devoted mother and grandmother, passed away peacefully at Norwood Hospital on April 30, 2018, surrounded by her family.

Shirley graduated from Lowell High School in 1950 and from Lowell State Teachers College in 1954, where she met Philip, of Marblehead, Massachusetts, who was attending Lowell Technical Institute; they were married in Lowell in 1955.

Shirley began her long career as a public school teacher and educator in Arlington, left the profession to raise her children, then returned to school to earn her special education credential.

Shirley’s guiding star was her love for and devotion to children: first and foremost to raising her two sons and a daughter and doting on her four grandchildren, and then to her “kids”–the many hundreds of students she patiently nurtured in her career as a special education teacher at elementary schools in Norwood for over 22 years. Her greatest joys were reveling in the efforts and accomplishments, great and small, of her children, grandchildren and the pupils who were fortunate enough to have Mrs. Swain as their teacher. Shirley cherished the homemade gifts and mementos given to her by her charges and their families.

Shirley is survived by her husband,¬†Philip C. Swain; her brother, Ernest A. (Sally) Tessier, Jr.; her children, Philip C. (Roseanne) Swain, Jr., of Concord, Massachusetts; David A. (Linda LaMond) Swain of San Rafael, California; Carol A. Swain of Alexandria, Virginia; and her grandchildren Daniel, Kimberly, Jennifer and William. Burial will be at a private ceremony at Highland Cemetery in Norwood. Donations may be made in Shirley’s name to the Ecumenical Community Food Pantry of Norwood (

Shirley was a voracious reader and a favored bridge partner, possessed a razor-sharp wit, and a wonderful sense of humor. Extremely generous, she gave her all and received in kind. Beloved wife, mother, grandmother, friend and teacher, she will be sorely missed by everyone whose lives she touched.


Guestbook Entries

  1. Steve and Ellen Cutler
    May 6th, 2018 | 11:14 am

    We have special memories of Shirley and our times together, when we lived in Norwood.

    Our sincere sympathy

    Ellen and Steve Cutler

  2. Al and Lyn Armstrong
    May 6th, 2018 | 10:10 pm

    We have very fond memories of Shirley in the many neighborhood and Grace church gatherings over the course of many years. We moved away years ago but the memories remain dear to us. To Phil, we extend our deepest sympathy in his great loss.
    Al and Lyn Armstrong

  3. Thomas OLeary Family
    May 7th, 2018 | 12:02 pm

    Our sincere condolences Phil, you and your family are in our thoughts and prayers.

    Tom O’Leary and Family

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Folsom Funeral Service

Folsom Funeral Service