Roswell T. Swits SchenectadyRoswell T. Swits, 86, of Schenectady, NY, passed away on June 3, 2013, after a short illness. Born in Schenectady, the son of Harmon and Dorothea Swits, Roswell attended Nott Terrace High School and the University of Colorado. He was a longtime member of the Board of Directors of the Ingersoll Memorial Home for Aged Men, Schenectady, NY, and until his retirement was employed for 35 years by the New York State Office of General Services in Albany, NY. Roswell is survived by his wife, Elvira (Boscia); and two children, David (Wendy), and Holly. Also surviving are four grandchildren, Erika, Kirstin, Justin, and Liliana Maria Swits; as well as several nieces and nephews. Roswell was predeceased by his brother, Harman D. Swits III. Roswell was past grand master of Free and Accepted Masons of the State of New York, and elected to the highest office in the state in May, 1988, thus becoming the third member of St. George's Lodge to have achieved this prestigious position. Roswell was elected master mason of St. George's Lodge in 1974 during the lodge's 200th Anniversary. He was appointed to serve as grand standard bearer from 1976-78. He was Hudson-Champlain regional director of the Masonic Home Building Fund Committee from 1977-82, and was active in the Grand Lodge Masonic Charity Corporations Committee from 1977-80. He was also a director of the Masonic Medical Research Laboratory from 1984-88. During his tenure as New York State's grand master, Roswell initiated the Laboratory Endowment and Action Fund (L.E.A.F.) with an avowed goal to raise five million dollars toward Cardiac Research at the Masonic Medical Research Laboratory (MMRL). The goal was achieved before he left office. For this and other outstanding achievements, the grand master received the Charles Johnson Award, the highest Grand Lodge recognition for exemplary service to New York Masons. His numerous awards and citations include the Christopher Champlain Medal for outstanding achievement (the highest award given by the Grand Lodge of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations to a member of another Masonic jurisdiction) and the Philip Tucker Award, granted by the Grand Lodge of Vermont for Masonic achievement. He was also named as honorary past grand master of the Grand Lodge of Michigan. In 1985, he was coroneted 33rd degree by the Supreme Council, AASR-NMJ. A church funeral service will be held on Saturday, June 8, 2013 at 10 a.m. at the Rotterdam United Methodist Church. Funeral arrangements are being made by Townley & Wheeler Funeral Home of Ballston Lake. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in memory of Roswell T. Swits to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, 5 Computer Drive, West Suite 100, Albany, NY 12205 or online at www.lls.org.
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Published in The Daily Gazette Co. on June 6, 2013