ESCANABA - Thomas Joseph Jr., 73, passed away on Wednesday, March 20, 2013, following a semi-car accident. It could be said, that for the first time in their marriage, Thomas led the way, even for just a brief time until his wife, Barbara J. "Barb" Swift, 73, four days later, joined him in heaven on Sunday, March 24, 2013, from injuries she sustained in the accident. Now, together they will always be.
Thomas was born on May 24, 1939, in Escanaba, the son of Thomas J. and Olga E. "Tootie" (Bell) Swift, Sr. Barbara was born on Aug. 11, 1939, in Ann Arbor, Mich., daughter of Martin W. and Dorothy (Bergeon) Rose. Their parents preceded them in death.
Tom graduated from Bark River High School and Barb graduated from Gladstone High School.
Thomas J. and Barbara J. Swift
Tom lived in California during the years that he served at the Travis Air Force Base from May 31, 1957, until his honorable discharge on May 29, 1961. He worked as an airplane mechanic and was awarded a Good Conduct Medal for his military service. Tom was in the Air Force Reserves until 1963.
On July 16, 1960, Tom Swift, Jr. married the former Barbara Rose in Bark River and they celebrated their union at the Dell's Supper Club with friends and family.
Following his honorable discharge, Tom returned to Bark River. Together, Tom and Barb own and operated Tom Swift's Bar which was previously owned by Tom's parents, Tom and Olga "Tootie" Swift Sr. The bar was a well known restaurant and gathering place in the Bark River area that was known for their Friday fish fries. Tom and Barb could be found cooking, bartending, waiting on tables, and always providing a welcoming place for the community to be.
Following the sale of the bar, Tom worked at Mead Paper until his retirement. Barb was employed with Thyberg's Jewelry as a clerk.
Tom and Barb Swift lived life to the fullest. They had many friends who they loved and enjoyed being with. Barb loved to entertain and had a flair for hospitality, paying special attention to details.
Tom was an avid golfer and played throughout the area with his many buddies. He was known for his sharp wit and good nature. When you saw Barb moving at full speed ahead you knew Tom would be lagging right behind her.
Tom was a lifelong member of the Highland Golf Club where he held many leadership roles, including president, vice president and most recently secretary/treasurer.
They were members of St. Patrick and St. Joseph's Church.
Tom and Barb's pride and joy were their children and grandchildren, making every moment memorable.
Among survivors include their children, Brian Swift and Patti (Dan) Dringoli; grandchildren, Jarred Sovey, Joey, Austin, Raegen and Jensen Dringoli; and Barb's sister, Sharon (Dale) Villeneuve; several nieces and nephews.
In addition to their parents, they were preceded in death by their son, David; Tom's sister, Patricia Fedoush and Barb's brother and sister, Joseph Rose and Merry Brower; and several aunts, uncles and nephews.
Visitation will be held on Saturday, May 18, from noon to 1 p.m. at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church in Bark River. The Mass of Christian Burial will follow at 1 p.m. with Rev. Darryl Pepin officiating. Burial will follow at the Bark River Cemetery.
A reception to celebrate their lives together will follow for family and friends at the Highland Golf Club starting at approximately 3 p.m.
The family would like to request that gentlemen attending the events wear a green necktie and women wear a red rose in memory of Tom and Barb.
A memorial has been established in honor of Tom and Barb Swift and donations may be sent to "The Swift Memorial Fund," 477 Dalton Road, Neenah, Wisconsin, 54956.
Messages of condolence may be sent to their children, Brian Swift, 3100 West 7th #619, Fort Worth, TX 76107 or email@example.com and Patti Dringoli, 477 Dalton Rd, Neenah, WI 54956 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Crawford Funeral Homes are assisting the Swift family with arrangements.