SWANSON, Vera, OC
April 7, 1916 – Shirley Warwickshire, England
April 4, 2018 – Calgary, Alberta
Vera Swanson passed away quietly at the Foothills Hospital on Wednesday, April 4, 2018. Vera lived a full life, spread between England, Ottawa, and Calgary. Vera had two very different lives; she spent her formative years living in the south of England where she met her first husband, who was taken from her by the Second World War before they could celebrate their first anniversary. At the end of the War, she met and married Frank Swanson, who was working in London as a war correspondent. After the War, Vera made the courageous decision to move to Canada with Frank and lived in Ottawa for ten wonderful years, supporting Frank in his role as a senior journalist with the Southam News Service. While in Ottawa, Vera was involved in the local performing arts community and, in particular, the Ottawa Philharmonic. In 1962, Frank and Vera, along with their son David, moved to Calgary, which became her home for the rest of her life – which was not her plan! Never one to take no for an answer, Vera became a champion of the creation and development of the Calgary Centre for the Performing Arts - now Arts Commons - which stands as a testament to her commitment and determination. Vera was also a patron and supporter of the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, which remained her love until she passed away. Vera spearheaded the creation of the Calgary International Organ Festival, the Arts Centre Guild, and was an active member of the Churchill Society. In 2001, Vera received the Order of Canada in recognition of her tireless volunteer work. She will be remembered for her warm and generous hospitality at her home overlooking the foothills and the Rockies. Vera is survived by her son David and his wife Francine. The family would like to thank the Thompson Family and Fran Watson for their support and kindness, especially during Vera's last days. Funeral Services will be held at The Anglican Parish of Christ Church (3602 8 Street S.W. Calgary, AB) on Monday, April 9, 2018 at 11:00 a.m. Reception to follow. Condolences may be forwarded through www.mcinnisandholloway.com
. In lieu of flowers, memorial tributes are encouraged to be made directly to the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra at www.calgaryphil.com
. In living memory of Vera Swanson, a tree will be planted at Fish Creek Provincial Park.