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John Pierce (Jack) Swift

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John Pierce (Jack) Swift Obituary

John Pierce "Jack" Swift crossed over Thursday afternoon at Rideout Medical Center in Marysville after a long battle with multiple illnesses.  Mr Swift was born July 12th, 1940 in Marysville to Virgil Swift and Norrine Wasley Swift.  Virgil's first American ancestors Thomas Swift and his wife Elizabeth immigrated to America on the sailing ship "Recovery" in 1634.  Norrine's people were Cornish miners who came over during the gold rush, and settled in Grass Valley.

Mr. Swift attended Yuba City High School, class of 1958, where he played football. During his high school years, Jack spent summer nights parking cars at Frank Sinatra's Cal Neva Lodge, where he was known and loved by The Rat Pack, and, with his crew, saw many of their shows at front row tables (once seated next to Marilyn Monroe), complete with a bottle of Jack Daniels, complements of Mr. Sinatra. During the day, he ran concessions and taught water skiing at King's Beach. Among his clientele were numerous Cal Neva showgirls, one of whom made waves at North Shore by showing up for her lesson in the first topless bathing suit ever seen in those parts.

Jack graduated with a degree in agriculture from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, class of 1962. During summers in his college years he experienced San Francisco's psychedelic explosion from the inside with his friends Ron and Jay Thelin, founding members of SF's chapter of The Diggers and hung out with all of the characters and bands who created the Summer of Love and the San Francisco Sound.

After college, Jack taught high school in Fresno, eventually landing a job with Hershey Foods managing what was, at the time, the largest almond orchard on earth in Oakdale, CA.  Jack returned to the Yuba Sutter area to manage Sutter Butte Farms, in Sutter, in 1970. 

Mr. Swift was married twice, to Charlene Allread in 1966 and to Karen Richart in 1970 and is survived by his son Dylan, his daughter-in-Law Priscilla, grandchildren Alex, Andrew, Victoria, Rebecca and Sammy, his sister Diana Nagler and his many nieces and nephews by blood and marriage including Dave Burns, Craig Nagler, Lori Smyth, and the children of Gary and Sidne Allread on whom he doted and provided constant love and support as their "Uncle Jack" throughout his life.

A life long music aficionado, Jack had a wide influence on the younger generations of his family, introducing them to the seminal records of Soul, Blues, and Jazz at early ages and inspiring some of them to become musicians who in turn had children who are musicians.

Jack faced his lifelong health issues with grace and courage and had an overriding faith in people that inspired everyone who knew him. A die-hard Raiders, Giants, and Warriors fan, he was undoubtedly thrilled to matriculate up to the pearly gates on the same day as one of his heroes, Kenny "The Snake" Stabler.

He is, and will continue to be greatly missed by his friends and family.

A memorial service will be held at St. John's Episcopal Church in Marysville at 3:00pm on Saturday July 18th.  Reception following at a location TBA.

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Published in Appeal Democrat on July 15, 2015
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