Richard A. Swain

Date of Birth

January 1, 1927

Date of Death

November 22, 2010

City of Death

Santa Barbara

On November 22, 2010, Dick Swain left this world as he had lived in it quietly, with dignity, and surrounded by the love of his family and friends.

Born in Olympia, WA in 1927 to Albert and Nellie Swain, Dick grew up in Portland, Oregon with his brother and two sisters. In February 1945 he graduated early from high school and enlisted in the Navy. He was honorably discharged in 1946 with the rank of Pharmacist Mate 3rd Class.

Dick married Louise Marx in 1952 in Salem, OR. They moved to Wenatchee, WA and had two daughters. In 1962 he went back to school and earned a degree in electronics. The family moved to Santa Barbara in 1964, where Dick began his 25-year career at Raytheon. A year later a third daughter joined the family.

It was in Santa Barbara that Dick discovered his passion for orchids. He was very active in both the Santa Barbara Orchid and Cymbidium Societies and established Hidden Valley Orchids, winning many awards for his specimens and registered hybrids. For 25 years Dick displayed his orchids in the International Orchard Show winning numerous ribbons and awards which decorate the entry of his home, work bench, and greenhouse. In retirement he enjoyed working at the Santa Barbara Orchid Estate, where he was greatly appreciated for his humor, patience and pleasant, caring ways.

Dick is survived by Louise, his wife of 58 years, daughters Patty (John) Jernejcic of Gig Harbor, WA, Paula (Paul) Ryan and Janet (Marc) Alexander, both of Santa Barbara, grandsons Casey and Connor Ryan and Jacob Alexander, nieces, nephews, brothers and sisters-in-laws, and many long-time neighbors and friends. He is preceded in death by his parents and his siblings Carl, Dorothy and Mary.

The family would like to thank doctors Uyesaka, Greenwald, Bentley and Spiegel for their excellent care and concern for Dad. And we feel truly blessed that Dad was able to spend the last month of his life in the love and care provided to him by the entire staff at Sarah House. They are truly angels, comforting not only Dad, but our entire family as well.

A Celebration of Life will be held Wednesday, January 5, 2011 at Harry’s Plaza Café from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made in Dick’s name to Sarah House, 2612 Modoc Road, Santa Barbara, CA 93105, (805) 563-9990, a not-for-profit hospice residence with caring staff and volunteers.


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