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Richard Swallow

Richard Swallow

Our loving father, brother, grandfather, great-grandfather, and great-great grandfather Richard Mortenson Swallow, 98, passed away October 28, 2013 at Parkway Health Center in Payson, Utah.   He was born Jan. 4, 1915 in Mayfield, Utah to Richard Thomas and Matilda Elizabeth Mortenson Swallow.

Raised on the family ranch in Spring Valley, Nevada and following in his father’s footsteps, he worked as a cattle and sheep rancher and raised alfalfa hay, living for 88 years in that favorite place on earth.

He is remembered as a man who loved his children and grandchildren and regaled them with stories of his early ranch life and all things that interested him. He could talk endlessly, laugh hard, and joke with a twinkle in his eye. He had a great love for nature and geology, dogs and reading, horse riding and wrangling, as well as skills in repairing machinery and raising crops and cattle.  Though his education was cut short, he never lost his thirst for knowledge. A self taught man, he read countless books, although history and religion were his favorites.  He truly hungered to understand the gospel and doctrines of Jesus Christ. He always said he knew a lot about nothing and a little about a lot, but Dad actually knew a lot about a lot.

In his sophomore year during the Depression, he quit school and at that young age began supervising ranch work crews.  Following the death of his father, Richard took over the duties of running the large ranch.  After WWII, he went into business with his two brothers and managed the operation for many years.  He worked hard throughout his entire life and dealt with many difficult challenges, which demonstrated his enduring dedication and perseverance. He was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, serving in many positions in the church, although the one he loved most was Branch President in Garrison, Utah. He was a guiding force in building the chapel there and sincerely loved the people in that area.

Richard married Ethel Mandeville Burr in 1935 and they raised 4 sons and 1 daughter together until they separated in 1962; at that time he married Vesta Call and they had 3 daughters. That marriage ended in 1990.

At age 88 he finally retired and moved to Waverly, Iowa, to live with his son Tim and daughter-in-law Jane Swallow, where he was lovingly cared for. In 2008, increasing dementia mandated that the family move him into care centers where he resided until his passing. The family is grateful to all those who cared for him at the Hobble Creek and Parkway Health Centers, and to those who visited him, especially his nieces Karen Johnson Sermersheim and Glenda Johnson Egbert, as well as his sister Darlene Whitlock.
He is survived by his son Tim Swallow (Jane), Iowa; his daughters Sharon Smith (Ray), Yakima, WA; Marcia Adams, Cove, UT; Louise Hall (DeWayne), Sacramento, CA; and Linda Thompson (Rick) WA. He is also survived by his sister Darlene S. Whitlock, Woodland Hillls, UT, as well as 44 grandchildren, 102 great-grand children and 28 great-great-grand children, and numerous nieces and nephews that he loved.

He was preceded in death by his sons Richard B. (Donna); Roland  (JoAnn); and Sylvan C. (May), first wife Ethel Burr Swallow, his parents and his brothers George N. Swallow and Arlo B. Swallow as well as his sister, Golden Nevada Johnson; brother-in-laws Lou Johnson and Lee Whitlock, and sister-in-laws Bea Swallow, Lydia Swallow, and Nancy Swallow; daughter-in-law Jeanne Swallow Johnson.

Services for Richard M. Swallow will be held on Saturday, November 9, 2013 at 1 p.m. at the Sundberg-Olpin Mortuary at 495 S State St, Orem, UT.  A viewing will be held at 11:45 a.m. -12:45 p.m. prior to the services.   Burial will take place at the Orem Utah Cemetery.