Barbara Helen Swift
GILBERTSVILLE — Barbara Helen Swift, 79, of Gilbertsville, died surrounded by her family Sunday, April 7, 2013, at Bassett Medical Center.
She was born Sept. 29, 1933, in the Town of Butternuts, the daughter of Frampton Wingard Hamilton and Marjorie Elizabeth (Halbert) Hamilton. The family split their time among Aiken, S.C., Gilbertsville and Hempstead.
She graduated from Hempstead High School in 1951.
She married Richard Charles Swift on Dec. 28, 1952.
In addition to being the mother of five children, she was the business manager for Gilbertsville Central School for 26 years. She retired from GCS in 1988.
Barb was a founding member of the Gilbertsville Emergency Squad in 1960. She was also a member of the Gilbertsville Fire Department Auxiliary.
She assisted in the founding of the Morris, Garrattsville, Edmeston, Laurens and South New Berlin Emergency Squads and the West Exeter and West Laurens First Responder Units. She was one of the founders of the Otsego County Emergency Squad Association.
She was an American Red Cross first aid Instructor from 1959 to 1990, and a New York state emergency medical technician instructor and practitioner from 1973 to 1988.
For many years, she served as a 4-H leader and was a judge for the Boy Scouts First Aid Contests. She was a member and elder of the First Presbyterian Church of Gilbertsville.
She was a member of the American Legion Women’s Auxiliary and an active member of the Butternut Valley Grange.
She had received numerous awards for her service, including Otsego County Firemen’s Auxiliary Member of the Year 2005, Otsego County EMS outstanding service and dedication 1999, Delaware-Chenango business officials recognition of 26 Years of service in educational finance and jointly with her spouse, the Gilbertsville Citizens of the Year Award in 1978.
She was a vibrant and active member of the community.
Barbara was predeceased in 1996, by her husband, Richard Swift.
She is survived by two daughters, Karen Swift-Shannon and her husband, John Shannon of Vineyard Haven, Mass., and Julie (Swift) Fenn and her husband, Thomas Fenn of Lexington, Mass.; three sons, Thomas Swift and his wife, Katherine Pruitt of Takoma Park, Md., John Swift and his wife, Jennifer Swift of Santa Cruz, Calif., Dana Swift and his wife, Charity Swift of Gilbertsville; grandchildren, Margaret and John Richard Shannon, Martin and Nora Swift, Emily, Kelsey and Corrie Fenn, Sophia and Annika Swift and Sydney Swift. She had two siblings, sister, Marjorie (Hamilton) Talbot and her husband, James Talbot of Aiken, S.C.; and brother, James Wingard Hamilton, (deceased).
Barb’s door was always open and an extra plate was set at the table, welcoming many into the family.
Memorial services will be held this summer at a date to be determined.
In lieu of flowers, friends are asked to donate to the Muscular Dystrophy Association, the Gilbertsville Emergency Squad, the Catskill Area Hospice, the Butternut Valley Grange or the Gilbertsville Presbyterian Church.
Online condolences may be made to the family at www.johnstonfh.com.
Arrangements are by the Johnston Funeral Home, Morris.