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Mark Swann

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Mark Swann Obituary
Mark Swann

Mark Swann died November 14, 2015 in Jacksonville Beach, FL. He grew up in Stockbridge, MA, son of Jack and Mary Swann and attended Lenox School and Le Rosey in Switzerland. BA from Harvard University, 1962, member of the AD, and Masters from Cambridge University, England, 1965. Married Mary Dickerman, 1966, the mother of his four children. They lived in York, PA for 10 years during which time he was a reporter at the York Gazette and Daily, pioneered organic beef farming, ran several Boston Marathons, and ran for Congress on an anti-nuclear power platform. He'd open his campaign speeches by pointing out that he was on the Nixon White House Enemies list - a proud distinction he assumed he earned through his work fighting nuclear power while also promoting the great passion of his life: Ocean Solar Power (OTEC). He continued this passion and worked with Hilbert and Jim Anderson, founders of Sea Solar Power, Inc. for the next 50 years. In 1976, he moved to Washington, DC, where, for 35 years, he operated a fireplace restoration and design company focused on building more efficient fireplaces. He traveled to India to become a certified meditation instructor and then spent a decade teaching meditation to prisoners. He also spent fifteen years working with his lifemate, Diane Sollee, on her Smart Marriages campaign and conferences. In 2012, Mark and Diane retired to Jacksonville Beach, FL. His other passions were skiing; soccer; working for the Democrats - especially Obama; his fireplace manual; and he was a dedicated, life-long health nut. He said it wasn't even funny that after all his vitamins, vegetables, and jogging, his death was caused by an exotic disease, of which he'd never heard, cardiac amyloidosis, for which there is no known cure, or even treatment - except to eat vegetables and exercise. He liked to point out that of the three types of cardiac amyloidosis he had the "Wild" type and he'd also like to point out, for what it's worth, that his arteries were found to be clean as a whistle, no plaque anywhere. He is survived by four children, Leda (Hoag Holmgren), Nederland, CO; Maxine (Martin Sivak), Buenos Aires, Argentina; Jake (Sonya), Haverford, PA; and Kyle (Kristen), York, ME; nine grandchildren: Soren, Anders, Callen, Clyde, Mirabelle, Yan, Misha, Camilo, and Cedric; two step-children: Will (Margie) Sollee and Joe (MacRae) Sollee; five step-grandchildren: Mattie, Jack, Kate, Claudia and Josie. He is also survived by his sisters, Rosaly Bass of Peterborough, NH and Clover Swann of Stockbridge, MA; his brother, Nick Swann, also of Stockbridge; by many nieces, nephews, cousins and beloved colleagues and friends; and by his partner of 28 years, Diane Sollee, and her large extended family in Jacksonville, FL. He was predeceased by his brother, Robert Swann, of Stockbridge. SERVICES: A memorial service will be held on January 23, 2016, at noon at the Sidwell Friends School Meeting House, Washington, DC. Reception to follow. In lieu of flowers, please send contributions to the Brennan Center for Justice, www.brennancenter.org.
Published in The Berkshire Eagle on Nov. 29, 2015
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