Shirley Swofford, 89, passed away peacefully at Prestige Care in Sunnyside on Wednesday, July 17, 2019, surrounded by her loving family.
She was born Oct. 19, 1929, to Frances (Straub) and Gordon S. Hollahan, in Yakima. She spent her early years in Selah and Yakima and graduated from St. Joseph’s Academy in Yakima. She then attended Seattle University, graduating with a major in English Literature. In 1950, she and several friends visited France and Italy for the Jubilee Year.
On Nov. 24, 1951, she married Peter Jay Swofford at St. Paul’s Cathedral in Yakima. In 1953, the couple moved with their young son to Kirksville, MO., so that Jay could pursue his medical training. While living in Kirksville, Shirley appreciated seeing thunderstorms and watching the antics of the neighborhood cardinals, as well as adding to her own brood. After Jay’s year of internship, the family settled in Sunnyside, where they had purchased a medical practice.
In Sunnyside, Shirley cared for the growing family and enjoyed reading, gardening, and walking, in between mealtimes and loads of laundry. As time passed and the children grew up, Shirley took advantage of opportunities to ski on winter vacations and to wade (but not swim) on summer trips.
Shirley also developed an interest in photography, and as the grandchildren began to appear, she especially loved taking pictures of them. Eventually she and Jay chose to spend time in Maui in the winter, and for their 50th wedding anniversary in 2001, they cruised through the Panama Canal. And, of course, there were children to visit, some close at hand and some scattered over the United States. Shirley was preceded in death by her husband and by her oldest daughter, Susan Lunde, as well as her brother-in-law Leonard Olson.
She is greatly missed by her children: David (Patrice), Sharon (Clarence Benjert), Jennifer (Dale Beck), John (Mina), Mark (Lynette), and Michael (Rose), and her son-in-law Ross Lunde; and her grandchildren: Brenen (Taylor) and Devon (Lauren) Swofford; Travis and Malyssa (Nate Moore) Lunde; Jayson, Erika (Greg Boutain), and Hank (Angela) Benjert; Jordan (Christi), Josh, and Taylor Beck; Connor, Miya, and Mason Swofford; Evan and Adam Swofford; and Brandon Swofford, Stuart Lunde and Elizabeth Lunde. Great-grandchildren include Gardner Max Swofford, Grace Moore, Rylie and Reese Boutain, and Evie and Fox Beck. She is also survived by her sister, Patricia Hollahan, and her niece, Margaret Olson. Shirley was a member of St Joseph Catholic Church in Sunnyside. She will be especially remembered for her dry sense of humor, her abiding passion for solving crossword puzzles, and her fondness for chocolate. The family would like to give special thanks to Sylvia Piñon, Shirley’s friend and caretaker for over ten years, who made the best Thanksgiving turkey, tamales at Christmas, and corned beef and cabbage for St. Patrick’s Day. Special thanks also go to Dr. Madej for care above and beyond, to DaVita Mt. Adams Kidney Center, Prestige Care for their careful attention and to Heartlinks Hospice and Palliative Care.
Viewing and visitation will be held from 3-8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 16, 2019 with a Recitation of the Holy Rosary at 6 p.m. at the Smith Funeral Home, Sunnyside. Mass of Christian Burial will be at 10 a.m., on Saturday, Aug. 17, 2019 at the St. Joseph Catholic Church in Sunnyside. Burial will follow at the Lower Valley Memorial Gardens in Sunnyside, WA.
In lieu of flowers memorials can be made to Heartlinks Hospice and Palliative care in Sunnyside, WA. Those wishing to sign Shirley’s online memorial book may do so at www.funeralhomesmith.com.
Smith Funeral Home is in care of arrangements.