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Marianne C. Swindler

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Marianne C. Swindler Obituary
Marianne C. Swindler, 91, passed away peacefully on July 29th, 2017 at Aspenwood Senior Living facility in Silver Spring, Maryland due to complications from glioblastoma, an aggressive form of brain cancer.

She spent the last several months of life welcoming visitations by her loving family and friends, and under the tender care of Aspenwood staff and JSSA hospice care workers.

Marianne was born on February 4th, 1926 in Charleston, West Virginia, the last of three first generation American children born of Albert Christeller and Ellen Emma Whyman Christeller. She spent her childhood and teenage years forming many enduring and life-long friendships in the Charleston community. She was one of the first young woman hospital volunteers (called 'Candy Stripers') to step forth during the early years of World War II.

The family relocated to Richmond, Virginia in the mid-1940s, and Marianne soon after joined the workforce as an office assistant with the Richmond branch of the U.S. Patent Office. When this branch closed, Marianne was provided the opportunity to relocate and work out of the main Patent Office in Washington, D.C. As a young, adventurous and ambitious woman in her mid-20s, Marianne embraced this opportunity and moved on to the D.C. area.

Marianne had only worked briefly in the Patent Office when she met a young patent attorney, John (Jack) R. Swindler (deceased 1988). They later married in Richmond, Virginia in June of 1950, and soon settled into the Cabin John community of Bethesda, Maryland. As the family grew and the desire to live within Washington, D.C. became a greater aspiration, they moved in 1963 to the Foxhall area of northwest Washington. By the late 1960s, Marianne had become a single mother, raising her 4 children alone, while facing the economic necessity to re-enter the workforce.

In 1972, Marianne was hired by the D.C. office of International Telegram and Telegraph (ITT-World Communications) as an Executive Secretary. Being a single mother of 4 children in the 1970s certainly provided what were novel challenges at the time, but Marianne's love of family and her desire to provide them a healthy and happy upbringing motivated her to seemingly not bear witness to these challenges. She approached her job with a level of comprehension and professionalism that brought her deep respect from many of her more seasoned colleagues. As a result, she was soon promoted to the position of Government Contracts Administrator, working primarily with satellite communications companies to secure the technical, logistical and legal terms for establishing inter-country direct communications' links. Most notably, in the 1980s, Marianne was a key figure working with Comsat in establishing high-speed facsimile (satellite) communication links between Moscow and Washington.

After retiring from ITT in the mid-1990s, Marianne moved into a more modest home in Leisure World, Silver Spring, Maryland. There, she continued her volunteer work with PEO (Philanthropic Educational Organization), and became an active leader of her neighborhood group, organizing social events, delivering the local newsletter and being a leader supporting the needs of her community.

Throughout her life, Marianne was known for her vibrant beauty and grace, her unyielding humor, and her deep love of family and friends. She had a universal respect for all people, and an undying desire for her children's and friends' happiness and well-being.

Marianne is survived by daughters Jo Anne Swindler (Rockville, MD), Karen Lee Graves (Cincinnati, OH), sons John C. Swindler (wife Janet, Olney, MD) and Gary R. Swindler (Guilford, VT). She is also survived by six grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
Published in Brattleboro Reformer on Aug. 12, 2017
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