Richard Allen Swift, 82, of Cottonwood died December 27. He was born July 7, 1922 in Indianapolis, Indiana, the son of the late Allen and Gleda Swift.
Mr. Swift spent three years in the Army during World War II, serving in the Phillipines and Japan. He then enrolled in the Phoenix Fine Arts Academy, and subsequently moved to Los Angeles to study commercial art at Woodbury College. There he met and married fellow art student Carol. They graduated and moved to Arizona in 1950.
Having started as a draftsman and working always in visual arts, he retired after thirty-plus years from the Salt River Project as Supervisor of the Art Section, Communication Service.
After working in other forms of art such as photography, he found his greatest pleasure was woodcarving. Songbirds, waterfowl, and decoys were some of the carvings he did. Over the years, he has sold his work to collectors near and far, the most memorable being a half-size eagle with a thirty inch wing spread. More recently, he had been working on ''Gunslinger Characters'' for fans of the ''Old West''.
An outdoorsman, he was an avid fisherman and had hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon twice. He left a legacy of love for nature. His family is grateful for the many camping trips to the then undeveloped Northern Arizona. The beauty of the Quaking Aspen and smell of the early morning campfire were everlasting gifts to his children.
He leaves his wife of 56 years, Carol Swift; a son Larry (Janice) Swift of Morristown; two daughters Wanda (Don) Biszantz of Fountain Hills and Christina (Kevin) Moodie of Tucson; brother Ralph (Carol) Swift of Sparks, Nevada; sister, Betty (Bob) Cleary of Mesa; seven grandchildren and twelve great-grandchildren.
Brother Carl Swift preceded him in death.
Freinds and loved ones are welcome to attend the memorial service on Saturday, January 8 at Westcott Funeral Home, 1013 E. Mingus Ave., Cottonwood at 1 PM.
Flowers are welcome or donations in his memory may be made to either the Cottonwood Firefighters Association, 191 S. 6th St., Cottonwood 86326 or to the Verde Valley Fire District, 2700 Godard Rd, Cottonwood 86326.
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