Amherst Magazine

CLEON “SKIP” O. SWAYZEE ’52

We recently learned of the passing of Skip Swayzee, who died peacefully on Feb. 11, 2008, after a long battle with Parkinson’s disease. 

Skip was part of our class when we gathered at Amherst in the fall of 1948, having been very active in his high school, where he was fullback on the football team, a runner on the track team and president of his senior class.  He then joined the U.S. Merchant Marines, shipping out from Baltimore, primarily sailing on banana boats to and from the Caribbean.

Midway through Amherst, with the Korean War in full swing, Skip joined the U.S. Air Force, where he was a personnel specialist for three years, including a nine month tour in Thule, Greenland, a rather desolate duty station.  He finished up his duty in St. Louis, where he then matriculated at Washington Univ., where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa.  He then joined the St. Louis Post Dispatch, where he worked for 37 years, finishing his career as city editor.

A native of Frankfort, Ind., Skip spent much of his childhood there and in Maryland.  He was married twice and is survived by our classmate and his stepbrother, David Pfanner ’52, of Hughes, Australia; his sister, Nancy, of Penn Valley, Calif., four daughters, Kirsten Swayzee Morales of St. Louis, Valerie Droste of Denver, Sarah Taylor of Wildwood, Mo., and Janet Stiffler of Crestwood, as well as nine grandchildren, and his longtime companion, Pearl Rahing.

As the Post Dispatch noted in its obituary, Skip “traveled much of the world and enjoyed a full life.” That’s pretty good.

—Harry H. “Tim” Westbay ’52

 

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