Lora Lee Duncan Swetnam

Lora Lee Duncan Swetnam died April 11, 2003, at Whidbey General Hospital in Coupeville from complications associated with bone marrow cancer.

Mrs. Swetnam was born Dec. 3, 1925, in St. Francis, Kan. She was the youngest of 10 children born to Edward E. Duncan and Lettie Ellen Speed Duncan. She grew up in St. Francis, graduating from St. Francis High School in 1943 and from St. Mary School of Nursing in Manhattan, Kan., in 1947. She began her nursing career at Yuma Community Hospital in Colorado, and worked in surgical or office nursing on and off until 1986.

She also worked at Boulder Community Hospital and in a private medical office in Boulder; Billings Community Hospital and the office of Dr. Harold McIntyre in Billings, Mont.; and in a private medical office and at the College Village Clinic in Anchorage, Alaska.

She met Robert I. Swetnam on July 31, 1947. They were married Dec. 28, 1947, at Yuma Methodist Church. They made their first home in Boulder while he attended law school. According to her family, Mrs. Swetnam was always a supportive helpmate to her husband, opening their home and entertaining business associates frequently throughout the years. They made the first of many Phillips Petroleum-related job transfers to Billings in 1952, followed by a move to Bartlesville, Okla., in 1960; to Indiana, Pa., in 1963 and to Anchorage in 1964.

The couple made their home in Anchorage until Bob’s retirement in 1985. They built and settled into their home in Greenbank in 1986. Mrs. Swetnam maintained an active retirement until 2000, when her cancer was diagnosed.

The couple raised three daughters, Judy, Jane and Jean, and have been blessed by many grandchildren, a wonderful church family and many friends everywhere they lived.

She was active in Eastern Star, P.T.A., League of Women Voters, held various offices in P.E.O. Chapter K in Anchorage and was a past president of Chapter IF, Freeland. She was an honorary life member of the Presbyterian Women. She served as an elder and sang in the choir of Whidbey Presbyterian Church. She loved gardening, bowling, sewing, quilting and knitting. She created everything from items for church mission work and bazaars to clothing, doll clothes, and her daughters’ wedding gowns. In addition, she sewed intricate handmade quilts for each of her children, grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Mrs. Swetnam was preceded in death by her parents, Edward and Lettie Duncan; three sisters, Vivian Amack, Ruth Glaser and Edythe Baker; and three brothers, Clifford, Edward and Dale Duncan.

She is survived by her husband of 55 years, Bob Swetnam of Greenbank; daughters, Judy (and Robert) Adeline of Mount Veron, Jane (and Mark) Chapman of Wenatchee and Jean Maloney of Anchorage; 14 grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; a brother, Glenn Duncan of Tyndall, S.D.; two sisters, Verda Small of St. Francis, Kan., and Doris Dallon of Bristol, Conn.; and numerous nieces, nephews and friends.

A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, April 19, at Whidbey Presbyterian Church, Oak Harbor, with Pastor David Templin officiating.

Mrs. Swetnam requested no flowers and asked that memorial donations be made to Whidbey Presbyterian Church Music Fund, 1148 S.E. Eighth Ave., Oak Harbor, WA 98277, or to the American Cancer Society.