Tributes & Stories

 

Obituary (VT): John Allen Swainbank '64

Posted on 05/14/2018

(1942-2018) John Allen "Jay" Swainbank of Craftsbury passed away on April 16, 2018, in The Villages, Florida, after a lengthy hospital stay. He was 75. Jay grew up in St. Johnsbury, the son of John and Louise Swainbank. He has resided in Craftsbury in recent years with his wife Cheryl Crytzer. Jay graduated from St. Johnsbury Academy in the Class of 1960, and from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1964. As a Navy pilot, he flew surveillance aircraft based in Brunswick, Maine; Pensacola, Florida; and in the Mediterranean. After the service, he began his career in manufacturing, living in Pennsylvania, Colorado, and Illinois, where he earned a Masters in Business Administration from Northwestern University. Jay returned to Vermont in 1988 and enjoyed a new career in the Vermont Department of Buildings as a Project Manager. He retired in 2004. Jay was predeceased by his first wife Hilary Norman, and his parents John and Louise Swainbank. He is survived by his wife Cheryl, siblings Anne Brooks and her husband Arthur, Dan Swainbank and wife Mary, and Joe Swainbank and wife Lillian; his children are Mark Swainbank (Alesia) and Paige Delaune (Rob). His step-children are Anna Crytzer (Caleb) and Ben Crytzer. Grandchildren are Kyle, Sol, Elijah, Dylan, Adrian, Andrew, Cameron and Fiona. Jay had an excellent singing voice, and performed in productions of the Lyric Theater in Burlington. In retirement, he was a substitute teacher in Hardwick and Craftsbury. Jay was famous for (and it is still talked about) flying very low over St. Johnsbury in a large Navy P2V aircraft. Other pastimes included reading, kayaking, and contra dancing. As a volunteer, he delivered meals on wheels, and worked at the Hardwick Area Food Pantry and the Craftsbury Library. He dearly loved spending time with his grandchildren. A celebration of his life for family and friends will be held at a later date.

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