Dr. Thomas William Swem, 84, passed away March 4, 2021 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He was born on August 31, 1936 in South Bend, Indiana.
Thomas was proceeded in death by his father, T. Dale Swem; his mother, Nina A. Swem; his son, William A. Swem; and sister-in-law, Ann Adele Broadbent.
Thomas is survived by his wife, Marilyn J. Swem; daughter, Martha Swem Brady and fiancé Matthew J. Vanderhorst; grandson, Thomas Shane Brady; granddaughter, Savanna L. Brady and fiance’ A. Dustin Coffey, all of Albuquerque, New Mexico; granddaughter, Morgan P. Swem; granddaughter, McKenna A. Swem of Orlando, Florida; brother, William D. Swem of Cape Coral, Florida; brother-in-law, Dr. James H. Broadbent of Elkhart, Indiana; special friends, William and Nancy Blackler of Albuquerque, New Mexico and several special nieces and nephews.
Thomas grew up in South Bend, Indiana where he was a competitive swimmer, raced sail boats, fished, hunted and shared wonderful times with his family. Thomas then went on to obtain his BA and MA degrees from the University of Denver in Colorado, in which he was a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity. Lastly, he then acquired his doctorate degree in Special Education from the University of New Mexico.
Thomas and Marilyn were married in South Bend, Indiana in 1966. They then moved to Alamosa, Colorado where they started their family. They had two children. He loved spending time with his young family. Thomas was also an avid hunter and fisherman. He was a professor at Adams State. They then moved their family to Boone, North Carolina where he became a professor of Special Education at Appalachian State University for 25 years. Their family had many special and joyous years in Boone. Upon retiring, he and Marilyn moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico where they enjoyed spending time with special friends having game group and traveling. Thomas especially enjoyed playing cards with friends and family. He and Marilyn remained in Albuquerque where he lived happily for the remainder of his life.
Thomas was a devoted husband, father and friend. He gave his never-ending love, wisdom, strength and humor to his family and friends, that will stay with them forever. He was always there with an ear to listen, a shoulder to cry on, a joke to make you smile and laugh, a helping hand, an insight of knowledge and an amazing heart full of understanding and unconditional love. Thomas was truly a gift that blessed so many. He was so loved and will be deeply missed.
There was a graveside memorial service held on April 17, 2021 at Southlawn Cemetery, 61300 U.S. 31 South, South Bend, Indiana 46614 at 11 a.m. Palmer Funeral Homes & Southlawn Cemetery are handling the arrangements for the family. www.palmerfuneralhomes.com.
In lieu of flowers, the family has requested donations go to National Jewish Health Hospital in Denver, CO. for their continued research of the disease Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF). Their website is www.nationaljewish.org ,select ways to give, then tribute gifts, in memory of Thomas and the amazing people that helped him fight his disease.