Les Swaim
{ "" }
Share
Share Les's life story with friends and family
Send an Email
Or Copy this URL to Share

Les Swaim, 88 OCEANSIDE -- Les Swaim passed away peacefully on Saturday, May 14, 2011. Les was born on September 10, 1922. Les grew up in Encinitas and graduated from San Dieguito High School in 1941, and joined the U.S. Coast Guard during WWII. He married Edith Ronsse in 1943, and they raised their three children in Oceanside. Les began teaching at Carlsbad High School in 1958 and was a long time baseball and football coach. After he retired, Les continued coaching golf at Carlsbad High School for many years. In addition to high school teacher and coach, some may remember Les as a Little League Baseball coach, driver's education instructor, school bus driver, softball player, bowler and golfer. He was also a member of the Oceanside Elks Lodge for thirty-two years. Les' greatest joy was his family. He is survived by his wife of 67 years, Edith; his children, Barbara (Paul) Gilbert, John (Jill) Swaim, and Mary-Lynn (Mark) Gibbon; his grandchildren, Lissa, Peter, Shawna, Danny, Nick, and Will; his great-grandchildren, Keanu, Alexis, Daniel, Kalani, Julia, Noah, Caelen, Daisy and Lana; his twin brother, Leo Swaim; and many nieces and nephews. Les was a beloved husband, father, grandfather, great- grandfather, brother, uncle, teacher, mentor and friend. He will be missed by all who knew him. There will be a public memorial/celebration of his life at Heritage Park in Oceanside on Saturday, May 28 at 1 p.m. In lieu of flowers, Les can be remembered through a memorial gift to the Coach Les Swaim Memorial Athletic Scholarship fund, c/o Barbara Oleksy, Carlsbad High School, 3557 Lancer Way, Carlsbad, Calif. 92008. Sign the Guest Book online obits.nctimes.com


To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in North County Times from May 17 to May 22, 2011.
Memories & Condolences
Not sure what to say?
View Printed Guest Book
27 entries
July 9, 2011
I'm so sorry to hear about Mr. Swaim, he was also my driver's training teacher, back in the 80's. I saw his about a year ago or so at Walmart, still looked the same, driving around in a scooter "hope he had his license on him". He was still as nice as ever, he will be missed.
Terry Cook
July 5, 2011
I miss you everyday dad. God's the lucky one to have you.
Mary Lynn Gibbon
June 15, 2011
We were sorry to hear of the passing of Mr. Swaim. Our prayer's go out to the entire Swaim family. God bless you.
Wade and Edna (Vaughn) Shaffer
June 13, 2011
Everyone who knew Les will continue to miss him. I'm "on vacation" (sorta) in Northern California right now, but here's Les's picture on the NC TIMES website, and it just makes me want to be able to hug him again. We love you, Les. Carolyn Overbay, Valley Springs
Carolyn Overbay
June 1, 2011
I had the wonderful opportunity of interviewing Mr. Swaim for our oral history project at San Dieguito High School Academy. He was so sweet and personable, a jovial soul with a good heart. It was great fun listening to him reminisce about the good old days. Godspeed, Mr. Swaim.
Bonnie Wren
May 29, 2011
My sympathy and empathy to the Swaim family, and special thoughts and prayers for my dear friend, Barbara. Your Dad touched so very many lives in such wonderful ways. How proud you must be of your Dad for being the man he was and all he did. He will live in your heart forever.

Lots of love,
Connie
May 28, 2011
RIP Les. Taught with you back in the 80's and enjoyed.
Mike Sanchez
May 27, 2011
I wish everyone in the Swaim family the strength to continue the traditions that Les leaves behind as examples for all of us -- kindness, sense of humor, honesty, love of family and deep friendship. He was one of a kind and will be remembered always as a great son of the North County. We will all miss Les for the fine man he was. Much love, Rita
May 25, 2011
My heartfelt sorrow goes out to the entire Swaim family, for Les was as many have already written a very special person in all of our lives as well. When I first met him, I thought of my dad tough as nails. But, those guys born in the early 20's, fighting in WWII, and coming home all gave that appearance. Inside they were the most caring and thoughtful people one would ever meet. I know he was sorry not to bid high enough to get me on Johnson's little league team, but we stayed friends. Rest in Peace Les from the entire Raibon Family.
Otis Raibon
May 25, 2011
To the entire family, a huge hug and sincere heartfelt sympathy. My husband Pat who passed away 3 years ago and I knew Les, What a wonderful, happy, positive man. Of course I will alway remember the Drivers Ed to Encinitas donut shop! I only have very happy memories as I'm sure you do.
Please take care,
Gina Walters
May 22, 2011
Edith Love,

My most heartfelt Sympathy to you and your fine family.
My prayers are with you at this difficult time.

Martha Pace Gresham
May 22, 2011
Coach Swaim, RIP, sir! I know I am not the only CHS alum to look back fondly on Driver's Ed (training) and other interactions with you. Got to have a little chat with you about 4 years ago, at another friends funeral. You were one of the best. Thank You.
Lee Ferraro
May 19, 2011
To Edith and the rest of the family, I am so very sorry. Les, was a very special person and will be so missed. He was my Drivers Ed. instructor at Oceanside-Carlsbad Junior College in 1961. Teachers like Les are rare. My gosh, what a great and good man he was. May light perpetual shine upon him.
Toni Lou Morgan/Bastien
May 18, 2011
Les Swaim is one of the great ones. He coached and loved to see success. I was fortunate to chat with Les last month. I was looking for Johnny. He was up beat and had just got home from playing, I mean scalping his buddies at the Elks. I met Les when he was coaching Johnson's Sporting Goods in little league along with Johnny. It was a blessing knowing such a great man and everyone will miss him.
May the Peace of the Lord be with his family and friends.
Dave Laski
Dave Laski
May 18, 2011
Uncle les was a great man who will be truly missed by all he touched. the most recent memory i have of him was when my father was passing away from cancer, My fathers wish was to see his brother les one last time. we got in touch and he was thrilled to do it. He hopped a plane and flew to oklahoma. I met him at the airport and drove the one and a half hours to meet his brother before he passed. My father had no clue he was coming and when we walked through the front door he fell down in amazement. The tears fell and hugs all around and all was right with the world. My father passed happy he met his brother one last time. Thanks less for that wonderful time you will be sorely missed.
gary swaim
May 18, 2011
My Uncle Les was very special to a lot of people and to me as well. I remember passing by him when I was a little guy playing Pop Warner and thinking to myself "One day I am going to play ball for my Uncle Les", never got the chance to fulfil that dream as we moved away in the summer of 74. I will always remember his smile and his tough persona, but we all knew he was a teddy bear inside. Love you Uncle Les ~
Mike Swaim
May 18, 2011
In our lifetime there are people that just stick to your memories - to your heart. People that mattered, people that change lives. Les Swaim did that for so many people - for me. I was 8 or 9 years old when I first met him, playing Little League, my Dad coached Clints TV, Les Coached Johnson Sportings Goods. His son John was one of my friends, was so, and is so to this day though we have not seen each other for a while now. We had some great games over the years back then! Les was one of the leaders in Oceanside at that time - just fantastic with kids - with coaching kids, you could count on Les! What a teacher, what a coach!! He was a legend to me back then, such a big part of my life, bigger now I think! God Bless you Les, you and Dad are making the calls up in Heaven! Please don't argue about the 1959 Championship game - John Frenzel vs Johnson Sporting Goods!!! I know you will!!!

As with my Dad, your memories are with us, you are always with us! Thank you for being you!!

Sandy and Dang Horan
Sandy Horan
May 17, 2011
Uncle Les...you were a huge inspiration to me. I recall many close moments with you and I will miss you even though we have not seen each other in many years... You are very loved.
Michael Swaim
May 17, 2011
Mr. Swaim was my driver's ed teacher at CHS as well. He was the nicest, funniest, sweetest man. I'll never forget him. RIP Mr. Swaim! (Tina Griffin, Carlsbad, CA)
May 17, 2011
My son Matt is ever gratefull for your golf instructions his Frosh yr. @ old CHS As 4 me, I remember drivers ed. and my Freshmen yr. of football, as well as helping Doug Tillman and myself coaching popwarner football with the kids in early 2000's You'll be missed, but not forgotten
Tom Bevilacqua CHS 67'
May 17, 2011
Uncle Les you were the best! I will forever keep you in my memories. Much love <3
Jessie Sims
May 17, 2011
Mr. Swaim was also my driver training teacher--he was a wonderful man wih that big smile and sense of humor. He was such fun to be around.
Dorothy Losa
May 17, 2011
Edith, sorry to hear about Les. Good Bless
Deck Price
May 17, 2011
My condolences to the Swaim family.Coach Swaim was by far the best baesball coach who ever mentored me in my 17 years of playing baesball.He was not only a coach and teacher he was a dear friend.When I first started playing golf i saw him at goat hill putting around- it was awesome to see him.he gave me some great tips which improved my game instantly.I have passed on those tips to others starting to play and they to have improved their game.He was an inspiration to me and others who played for coach Swaim.We still tell good time story we shared with him to this day.We will miss him but never forget the time,knowledge and laughs we shared on and off the field.REST IN PEACE coach.Love Vincent Cruz class of 79'
May 17, 2011
To Edith, Marylynn, Shawna, William and their families our heartfelt condolences to you in the passing of Les. The Lower, Peraldo and Todaro Families
Linda Lower Peraldo
May 17, 2011
Mr. Swaim was my driver training teacher at CHS years ago. I am still a terrific parallel parker thanks to the tips he gave. Thank you Mr. Swaim.
Fam Garza
May 17, 2011
So sorry to hear about Les' passing. He was my Little League coach in 1950 and Marty' bus driver at Carlsbad High. Our thoughts are with you. Sincerely. Marty & Rod Miller
Invite others to add memories
Share to let others add their own memories and condolences