Kenneth was born the son of the late Mary (McMann) and Perley Swift on August 25, 1925 in Grovetown. He was educated in Grovetown and graduated from Grovetown High School class of 1943. Ken then went on in his studies and graduated from Keene Teachers College with a Bachelors of Arts in Education class of 1949.
In 1950 he accepted a commission in the U.S. Army during the Korean War. From 1951 to 1952 he attended and graduated from Officer’s Candidate School in Fort Benning, GA and was commissioned 2nd Lieutenant . From 1952 to 1953 He went to Korea where he became the Platoon Leader for the 17th Infantry. While in Korea he served on “Pork Chop Hill and on patrols. In 1954 he was assigned to Fort Ord, CA to the Inductions Station and then to the Army Language School where he studied French. In 1955 He became a Defense Language Instructor where he taught French. From 1956 to 1958 he was assigned to Special Services in Paris France where he was the France Department Schools Officer. In 1959 He taught the Student Infantry Career Course at the Infantry School at Fort Benning, Georgia. From 1960 to 1964 he was assigned as an Assistant Professor of Military Science (ROTC) at the University of Rhode Island. From 1964 to 1965 He taught at the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, CA. and the Special Warfare School at Fort Bragg, N.C. From 1965 to 1967 He was an advisor to the Thailand Army assigned to the Thailand 21st. Infantry, (The Queen’s Own). He greatly enjoyed working with the Thai Army. 1967 to 1968 he was deployed to Vietnam where he was an Advisor to the Vietnamese Army at Bien Hoa Airbase. From 1968 to 1970 He was the Deputy to the Senior Army Advisor for the Massachusetts Army National Guard based out of Boston, MA. In 1970 He retired from the U.S. Army at the rank of Lt. Col.. Lt. Col. Swift was the recipient of the Combat Infantry Badge, Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal, three Bronze Stars with “V” Device for Valor and two Oak Leaf Clusters, Army Air Medal for 1000 hours of flight over hostile enemy terrain, Army Commendation Medal with one Oak Leaf Cluster, Korean Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, United Nations Service Medal and the Armed Forces Reserve Medal.
On October 4, 1952 while home on leave he exchanged vows with Shirley E. Washer. Because he was limited for time they had a simple service. They were married in the Nations Capitol, Washington DC. Sadly, Shirley passed on May 5, 2003 after almost fifty-one years of marriage.
Ultimately, Ken was an educator and humanitarian. He loved to teach and mentor. From 1970 to 1977 he became a Teacher and Principal at the Wells Memorial School in Harrisville. Education was key for Ken. He went on in his studies and earned a Masters Degree in Education and Administration in 1974. In 1977 he accepted a position at the Keene Jr. High School as a teacher of math and reading. He retired from teaching in Keene in 1991 but continued to do substitute teaching. Teaching was always in his blood and he wanted to stay active in the education of children, so he ran for the Keene School Board and was elected. He spent five years on the board assisting with the future of the Keene School System. From 1995 until 2005 he worked as an Instructional Assistant in the Special Education Department for the Monadnock Regional High School in Swanzey where he gave freely of his time for ten years. Ken served as a Moderator in Keene for the Ward III District for five years. He was a spiritual man and member of the United Church of Christ in Keene where he was a Sr. Deacon for many years. He also enjoyed volunteering for the RSVP Program in Cheshire County.
In 2013 He became a resident of Bentley Commons where he enjoyed going to activities and working with groups in the retirement community. He continued to go out for daily drives with his good friend Richard Leclair.
Mr. Swift is survived by his Children and their spouses; Nancy J. Clark and her husband Warren of Keene, Jane M. (Lacoon) Swift of Marlborough, Jeanne E. Crocker of Keene, David E. Swift and his wife Tammy of Acworth, Gregg R. Swift and his wife Leslie of Keene. His grandchildren, Thomas Belason of Sherborn, MA. Kristen A. King of Concord, Keith W. Clark of Goodyear, AZ. Gregg R. Clark of Swanzey, Jason A. Swift of Keene, Melissa A. Thomas of Fall Creek, OR. Amy E. Crocker of Swanzey, Joshua D. Crocker of Fitzwilliam, Dannah M. Jones of Fort Collins, CO. Kati E. Powers of Surry, Erikka L. Swift of Swanzey and Courtney J. Swift of Somerville, MA. Great grandchildren; Twins Cassidy & Finn Belason of Sherborn, MA. Alexander M. King of Concord, Andrew T. King of Concord, Kendrick S. Clark of Goodyear, AZ. Casey R. Clark of Swanzey, Caleb M. Clark of Swanzey, Taylor Swift of Keene, Rylee Swift of Keene, Sydney Swift of Keene, Carly E. Bernard of Swanzey, Brandon J. Bernard of Swanzey, Zachary W. Thomas of Fall Creek, OR. Leo Jones of Fort Collins, CO. Freya Jones of Fort Collins, CO. Owen Jones of Fort Collins, CO. Adeline Powers of Surry and Lyla Powers of Surry. His siblings; Clarice “SIS” Byrne, Chandler Swift, Kendall Swift, Willis “Bill” Swift, Verna Messier, Bertine “Tina” Chandler, Muriel “Minni” Payer-Tibbetts, Millard “Bobo” Swift, Roland “Ike” Swift and Roderick “Darkie” Swift. In addition, he is survived by; cousins, nieces, nephews, extended family and numerous friends. Ken is pre-deceased by his son, Alan K. Swift who passed in July of 2015, His son in-law, Bradford Crocker who passed in January of 2016 and a grandson, Bradford A. Crocker who passed in September of 2013.
Calling hours will be held on Wednesday, March 28, 2018 from 5 to 8pm. A celebration of life service will be held on Thursday, March 29, 2018 at 10am. all in the funeral chapel. Burial will follow with full military honors in the family lot at Monadnock View Cemetery, Park Ave. Keene. Flowers will gladly be accepted. However, the family would prefer donations be made in memory of Kenneth R. Swift to: Wounded Warrior Project, 4899 Belfort Rd. Ste. 300, Jacksonville, FL. 32256 or to: Monadnock Humane Society, 101 Swanzey Rd. Swanzey NH. 03446. All services are under the care of Cheshire Family Funeral Chapel and Crematories, 44 Maple Ave. Keene, NH. 03431. WWW.cheshirefamilyfh.com