Scott H. Swaner
{ "" }
Share Scott's life story with friends and family
Send an Email
Or Copy this URL to Share
Dr. Scott H Swaner 1968 ~ 2006 To our friends and loved ones; Our son, brother, uncle, friend, colleague and loved one, Scott Swaner, died December 20th 2006 in Seattle, Washington of Pancreatic Cancer. He was 38 years old. At the time of his death, Scott was an Assistant Professor of Korean Literature and Poetry at the University of Washington in Seattle. After successfully completing an LDS mission (the church of his youth) in Seoul, Korea, Scott's ongoing love affair with all things Korean began. Quoting his mentor and dear friend, Dr. David McCann of Harvard University, "Scott was the first student ever admitted in the Ph.D. program to study Korean Literature at Harvard University. He was a wonderful student, passionate about literature, the serious study and performance of it, and above all else, its relationship to the lives of the Korean people who made and read it. Scott's essay for Harvard's Library and exhibit of works remains an inspiration and tool for Professors and students alike." Scott was born in Northridge, California January 6th, 1968. He grew up in Castro Valley, California until the family moved to Salt Lake City in 1978. Scott graduated from East High School, where he formed many lifelong friendships. Friends who we as a family honor and remember today. Even in high school, Scott was a devoted writer and lover of learning. It was at East High where Scott also developed his love for music, Vespas, soccer and Southern Utah. Scott earned his B.A. in English Literature from the University of Utah and his M.A. in Korean Literature from Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. It was there was he was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship and he earned his Ph.D. in Modern Korean Literature from Harvard University. Scott was awarded the position of Assistant Professor of Korean at the University of Washington where he was a recipient of a Daesan Foundation Grant for translating Korean Poetry. Scott was first and foremost a teacher and a writer, a lover of words with a gift for translating poetry, teaching and deeply understanding critical theories and had a great passion for philosophy. He had a huge impact on his students and left an indelible mark with his teaching, poetry, essays and thoughts. We were stunned and grief stricken at his diagnosis of Pancreatic Cancer in March, nine months ago. Scott began a website upon learning of his diagnosis. In it, he continued to teach and educate others about his experience with the knowledge of a foreshortened life, his symptoms and cutting edge treatments of Pancreatic Cancer. Our family wishes to thank Dr. Sam Whiting and his staff of the SCCA for their consistent, empathetic and supportive care of Scott throughout his illness. We are forever indebted to Dr. Whiting for the lengths he took in helping prolong Scott's life, allowing him to linger here with us just a little longer. Pancreatic Cancer is intrusive, invasive, senseless, insipid and in Scott's case, terminal. It robbed us of Scott and has left a huge void in the lives of those he leaves behind and all those who love him. Scott left this world much the same way he entered it, with light and life. He fought and raged against cancer with immense courage and bravery. His strength of mind continually amazed us. He did not "go gentle into that good night" (Dylan Thomas) even until his last hours. With his beautiful mind intact and even more expansive heart, he died surrounded by love. "NOT ONLY IS ANOTHER WORLD POSSIBLE, HE IS ON HIS WAY. ON A QUIET DAY, ONE CAN STILL HEAR HIS BREATHING." Arundhati Roy Yes, there is another world, another life and we will always be able to hear his breathing. We love you Scott. You did more in your 38 years than most do in a lifetime. We are and will forever be grateful to have been blessed with the gift you are and have been in our lives. Love you Infinite Numbers, your family. Scott is survived by his parents, Dr. Harold and Nadine Swaner, sisters; Sue Swaner (Susan Passino), Sheri Swaner (Stepheni Hutton), Stacey Swaner Moore (Kerry), nephews and nieces, Mike Luna (Whitney), Deborah Luna Swensen (Garth), Matthew Luna, Whitney Moore, Dayne Moore and great nieces Alexandria Swensen and Jasmine Luna, and his constant companions and source of peace, his cats. Preceded in death by his friend and nephew, Daniel Luna, who passed away almost two years ago suddenly and tragically. The loss of Dan affected Scott and we all continue to morn the loss of him. This is not goodbye, dear Scott. You will never lose your magic . . . and we promise to take care of our beloved mother. Special friends: Kim Luu, Gillian Harkins, Frank Chiarella, Ted Mack, Daisy Dailey Scholz and Samuel Straight. Special thanks to Kim, Gillian and Ted, Scott's Seattle family, for your constant love, care and support for Scott. There will be a memorial service held Saturday, January 6th, at noon at Larkin Mortuary, 260 East South Temple. All friends and family are invited to attend. There will be another memorial service on Jan. 19th in Seattle, WA. Please consult Scott's family or web site for updated info.

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in The Salt Lake Tribune on Jan. 4, 2007.
Memories & Condolences
Not sure what to say?
View Printed Guest Book
31 entries
February 14, 2007
Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Dear friends, family and loved ones:

When my brother Scott’s Guest Book was going to close and his Obituary would not be available on-line anymore-- I wrote to thank all of you who contributed your kind words, gracious sympathy and sweet condolences. It was sad for me to think that I wouldn’t be able to look at, read, remember and reflect all that was written about him. The generosity and re -connection that occurred from Scott’s Obituary has been overwhelming.

Someone read and felt the anguish in my words and in the hearts of many of us, of the passing of Scott and an end to another chapter of his life. THE GUEST BOOK.
Miraculously, mysteriously, his Obituary and The Guest Book remained past the 30 day
time frame.

I discovered later, that this kind, sensitive and gentle soul “Sponsored” Scott’s Guest Book, thus maintaining it and leaving it open for all who want to write and comment still, until
February 3, 2008. What a gift ! What a sweet cousin and dear family member.
I can’t thank you enough for your gesture of love. On a personal note,
it has been a privilege to reconnect with you--- get to know you better, even under these harsh and tragic conditions. You have softened the blow.

Thank you so, so much.

Love and Gratitude,

Sheri and family
Sheri Swaner
February 3, 2007
Scott and I were born on the same day--January 6, 1968. He grew up in California and Utah, and I grew up in Oklahoma. We met at BYU, where we were roommates, classmates, and at times, soulmates.
When I learned of Scott's death this week, it sent me sideways. The last time I spoke to Scott was during a random meeting at Harvard Square, waiting for the bus. I hadn't been close to him in years. So why did the news land squarely on my chest and squeeze the air out of me? I suppose it is because of how large Scott lived and how close we were 'in the day.' We shared our 23rd and 24th and 25th birthdays together--years when we both believed we could do anything. We talked and sang and read and laughed together, and Scott made as big an impression on me as anyone has.
And now you're gone, Scott, and I miss you. I'm still crying tears of grief for your loss (my loss), and tears of gratitude for my having known you.
Dave Boyce
February 1, 2007
Dear Friends and Loved Ones:
As the day quickly approaches when the Guest Book closes, thus ending another chapter of Scott’s life--- we wish to thank all of you for the love and support you have shown and offered our family during Scott’s illness and his untimely death.
You are dear to us.
Also, we appreciate the compassion and empathy that has been extended to us, when our Mom died unexpectedly, just three weeks after Scott passed away. Hard and arduous times to be sure. We miss and love both of them so very, very much. We could never have gotten through this without your love, support and kind and sensitive gestures.
We would like to add one of Scott’s writing’s from his journal, the daily blog he kept, since he learned of and was diagnosed with TERMINAL PANCREATIC CANCER.
These are his words, his feelings about being confronted with a foreshortened life, knowing he was going to die.

Soon I die, I think ... Scott Swaner ( The 800 pound Elephant Question )
5.25.06, Another Toothpick
Another Toothpick.--Janice Soprano
At times I forget that a primary reason for the blog is to pass on medical information, share the news, let people know what’s up. Today’s Franky ( pain ) Scale is around a 7, which is good for a Thursday during the chemo cycle -- by Thursday the steroids and other feel-good balancing drugs they give me during the Tuesday oil-change usually wear off and the fatigue, the blah of food, nausea, and overall physical malaise sets in.

The formal narrative: There is some excellent dream analysis from the first disk of Season Three of The Sopranos -- where Dr. Melfi has to confront her own fears. -- this is all about the violence from this episode. Not an easy one to watch. She dreams: about he office after hours, alone, the ACME vending machine, the Rottweiler, then the violence, then the catharsis.
In waking life, she gets right up after a few days, goes back to work, takes the same route she walked from her parking lot, up the same stair case, up through the architectural “blind-spot” with no cameras, nothing. She knows her fear, finds it, and walks straight into it. The solution of direct address. So many approaches to anxiety and fear. This just struck me particularly, I might be cathecting too much onto certain characters, the impression was serious though. And in the realm of serious impressions, I had some more after reading the post submitted a few days ago from a friend to have me put on the blog about time and fear. Here and now she mentions how it’s now two months later and that there are only a certain number of months left. As I started to read-- my head started spinning with questions -- real and rhetorical. Months. Till what? Till somebody addresses the 800-pound elephant. It’s until I die. Soon I die, I think. And the last few days, after reading my friend, the princess’s missive, I’ve felt some anxiety about this, more than usual. Looking out over the city of Seattle tonight, the skyline lit and spread outside my windows, and having thoughts about how the view expires. It expires soon. What do I do about this? How much is possible? Realizing and knowing, knowing is the word, that I will die and leave this big round soft cookie that never tastes quite as good as you want it to. Still, it’s a cookie, and who doesn’t like a good cookie? Worse still, who doesn’t want a cookie when they’ve had it forever and then it gets taken away? Where’s my stinking cookie?
Looking at it otherwise, no one wants the vision that comes with the blinding of their eyes, nobody wants the gift called prophecy and truth, especially when they realize what the cost of knowing the future is. Nobody really wants to hear it and nobody really wants to know. Anyway, here is where I find myself. Never the option to say “no,” to not come here, to not have these experiences, to not have the option of knowing that soon I die. The state where no one, not any more, wakes up and goes to work, again, another day, no more anxiety of being and no more anxiety of freedom. How is that for a solution to the old existential double-bind?
You rethink it daily. Everyday, though you step up and go to work. Nobody wants to walk out of their office, a bit early let’s say, about 2 p.m., then walk over to the steps of Kane Hall to sit and enjoy a cup of coffee. And you do enjoy it, for a moment. Then the phone rings. And it is here you learn something that no one wants to hear from a doctor, that -- once you strip away the tempered and euphemistic language of medicine, once you learn more about the words being used -- that you might have a few more years but either way you are gone. Irony of the plot at this point. That was the good news. Definitely nobody wants to learn two weeks later that it’s worse than that -- the euphemism of the day: “metastasize.” New jargon. Meaning? Metastasize: the possibility of several years traded in for several months in the course of one doctor visit. Or you can spin the Big Casino metaphor differently, you can locate the fear and walk straight into it, and/or you can gamble, gamble and fight, and see what it gets you. Nobody wants to hear this. Me neither.
And likely nobody wants to comment on it, about death. Nobody wants to comment or talk about “all this morbidity” the REALITY, my REALITY of
my destiny with death.
Scott Swaner -----

We miss you Scott. We are amazed at your strength, honesty and words.
Shine on and shine brightly. You with the beautiful mind. XOXO-- your family
sheri Swaner
January 29, 2007
Today is Monday, January 29th and a friend just called and told me the news. I'm so sad right now. Scott was my roommate for more than a year during college. He was one of the few people that I knew at the time that would indulge the "hard" questions and explore them to the fullest. We would talk for hours about anything and everything. I remember a conversation we had once when he told me about a Korean proverb that recounted the story of two men floating down the river toward their eternal destiny. One man kept picking up other people to carry down the river, while the other man simply kept paddling alone. The moral of the story was that even though one man helped others make the journey and the other made the journey alone, they both made it to the same place. At the time, Scott was basically trying to convince me that he felt he was like the lone man in he parable, not destined to pick up passengers along the way but rather make his life's journey alone. Well, Scott, I hate to break it to you, but I would bet I'm not the only one that stowed away on your boat without you knowing it. And, man, am so I glad I did. I will miss you.
Bob Ahlander
January 21, 2007
Learning of Scott's passing was absolutely shocking. Nothing like this should ever happen to one so young and vibrant. When Scott came for his post-doc at the UW's Asian Languages & Literature department I was working as a receptionist and showed him around the building, talked to him about getting his tech setup, the basic support needs of someone new to the land. He was excited to be there and it was great to hear the combination of a young impassioned scholar and certainly-soon-to-be new professor. AND I was impressed with Scott's class, how hep his glasses, clothes and shoes always were, and how absolutely dead cool were his sideburns! I also helped in the search process in which Scott eventually succeeded and I remember very clearly going through the many, many applications and then coming to Scott's and being blown away by his vita, his breadth and depth of interest in his subject area and his dedication. I know Scott's students and colleagues learned from him and will carry on his knowledge in their own careers; I hope too that his spirit can live on in those he touched in life. I know I will always remember him fondly.
Jonathan Sweet
January 19, 2007
Here in Seoul we are heartbroken at the tragic news. I would like to offer my sincere and heart-felt condolences to the families concerned.
I deeply appreciate all for his compassion and love toward Korea. We Koreans had great admiration for the energy and enthusiasm with which he undertook. Thank you so much.
We pray for him and will always keep him in our hearts.
SunHa Yeo
January 11, 2007
Dear Nadine and Hal

We were very sorry to learn of Scott's passing. We extend our deepest sympathy to you.
Shirley & Bernie Boswell
January 9, 2007
I love you Scott. Mom is hanging tough yet missing you more than you know.
You lived a full and impactual life, though
cut short by Cancer.
We, as a family, are so grateful to have been blessed with you. A huge void has been left.
Equally, we are grateful for your friends--
the ones who cared for you daily in Seattle and your friends here. They have been so generous with their kindness, support and care.
Love, your family
Sheri Swaner
January 8, 2007
It is the second time for me to have been stunned and grief stricken after I heard of his illness last year.My deepest condolences.I met Dr.Scott Swarner at the University of Washington about three years ago when I served as Consul at the Korean Consulate General in Seattle.I was so delighted with high expectation for his passion and knowledge about Korean literature.Dr.Scott is not here physically.Instead,his love and achievements for Korean literature are remaining with us.Changboo Moon (Seoul,Korea)
Changboo Moon
January 8, 2007
As I sit at my desk, reading and reading all of the beautiful, genuine and heartfelt sentiments
written about my brother--- the loss of Scott, I am gently reminded of how one life can make a difference. Too often a cliché’--- but in this case, Scott did. His life and how he chose to live it, even when he got diagnosed with terminal cancer, he continued to teach and influence many. Scott never deviated from his course, his core-- the qualities he possessed that made him who he is, and was to each of us.
As one of Scott’s sister’s, I cannot help but be comforted and grateful for all of the love, care and support I’ve been shown through out Scott’s illness.
I have been blessed with such dear, kind and sensitive friends. I thank you all for that, for
lessening the grief and anguish that I feel.
I still can’t imagine my life without Scott in it, but I know he would want me to get on with mine.
That is what he asked of and wished for me just before he died.
Not distracting myself from the pain I feel-- but how to live and carry on despite of it.
Scott believed that distraction is an activity that averts our eyes from seeing what is really happening, all that is REAL.
Yes, I am a grieving sister, yes, the loss of my brother will follow me wherever I go.
I won’t distract myself from the pain that surrounds me. I will follow his lead---
and attempt to face my fears head on and be grateful for the blessing of knowing Scott, the blessing of LIFE. Be grateful for even the mundane. He was.
Thank you to all of my friends, both from my past and those who currently and continually support me.
And to my brother Scott I say---
I love you infinite numbers and will care for you equally as long.
You will never be forgotten.
Sheri Swaner
Sheri Swaner
January 7, 2007
I remember when Scott moved into the house up the street on Terrace Hills Drive. I thought, Wow, this California guy is different. As a pre-teen, he was the first friend I knew that just sat down and listened to music, knew how to work a real computer and could do tricks on a skateboard. All through the time I hung out with him, he was one step ahead of the curve. He invited me to go on my first Scout campout and we had many memorable camping trips in the next few years. I have always admired Scott's ability to be himself and not try to stuff his unique personality into anyone else's idea of who he should be. His achievements in his 38 years of life are remarkable but I would have expected nothing less of him. My family gives our best to his grieving family.
Matthew Coles
January 6, 2007
Scott saved my life on more than one occasion. Scott saved my soul and my intellect on other occasions. There was nothing half-way nor compromised about the man. Scott pursued excellence wherever he want. Scott drank the marrow deeply, because that is what life was all about. I was constantly in awe of his ability to pursue this. You will be missed, sir, you will be missed.
Dave Jenkins
January 5, 2007
Dear Swaner Family,

My heart breaks for all of you. I know we haven't seen each other for years but it doesn't lessen the pain I feel for the loss of our beautiful Scott. I have loved every moment spent with Scott since the day I met him in fifth grade. I have always known him to be an outstanding individual, a loyal friend and an extraordinary contributor to life. It is truly inspiring to see how much he has accomplished since we last embraced, but not at all surprising. I send my deepest love to all of you. I will miss Scott tremendously. - Sean
Sean Barnett
January 5, 2007

Although many years have past I remember the depth of your love for Scott and how you lit up around him or when speaking of him.

I am so very sorry for your loss. I understand how extreme and heavy the pain is in your heart. I too recently lost my brother due to a sudden illness.

It is the love you hold and the joy of your memories that help pull you through.

Be at peace
Deborah Ninow
January 5, 2007
Dear Swaner family and friends--

I have many fond memories of Spot. However, my favorite involves a fire extinguisher and a small forest fire. While most of my memories are somewhat distant, I have always appreciated Scott's friendship and sincerity. He is truly a unique and irreplaceable individual who will be sorely missed. My deepest condolences.
Walt Romney
January 5, 2007
Again, I am so very sorry about your brother Scott, and he did indeed live an amazing life. His amazing and thoughtful words in his blog touched me, I feel lucky to have gotten a glimpse of his beautiful character. My thoughts are with you and your family.
Kelly McCague
January 5, 2007
Ten lessons learned from Scott:
Snakes are cool.
A motorcycle can fly.
One man can fight 30.
Friends are as important as family.
Sleep is not a priority.
Dress up not down.
Write things down.
Words matter.
Utahns can't drive.
Nothing goes w/ pizza quite like beer.
Live strong in our hearts until we meet again.
We'll miss you, our dear Spot.
Daniel Payne
January 5, 2007
Dear Swaner Family,
Wishing you peace and serenity. Scotts passing reminds us of how important it is to cherish every moment of every day in our lives and take the time to express love to everyone around us. I will always admire Scott and his spirit will always be in our hearts.
John Pantelakis Logsdon
January 5, 2007
Dear Swaners, our thoughts and prayers are with you. As you know, Scott was outstanding, and we will always have great memories of our relationship with him. We love him and miss him.
Sam, Deirdre, Elijah, Aidan, and Rachel Straight
January 4, 2007
To the Swaner Family:
My very sincere condolences to you. In childhood, Scott and I were very close and the memories remain still for me. The Evans Family and the Swaner Family are obviously close extensions of each other, and a loss in one is felt by the other. Thank you for the wonderful obituary as it was, though published for a mournful occasion, very enjoyable to read. Scott had a full life, which one would expect knowing him at any stage of his life. It was also pleasant to see mentioned the names of my dear Uncle, Aunt and all of the cousins for whom I have such a fond love and memory. My best to you all.
Steve Evans
January 4, 2007
My condolences to Scott’s mother, father and sister Sue. I gained much respect for each of you during the few years Scott was in Utah after his mission. Scott was my best man at the greatest event of my life and my brother then. He provided much motivation to become the best person I could be and introduced me to my oldest and best friend. I’ll remember him for those good things.

Wishing his family, daughter and friends comfort and only happy memories. Respectfully,
Mark Alcorn
January 4, 2007
Dear Swaner Family:
We are sorry for your loss and offer our prayers and thoughts at this difficult time for you all. May God grant you comfort and tender mercies at this time of loss.
Hal and Elsie Evans
January 4, 2007
Dear Swaner family,
Ever since I met Scott back at Ensign Elementary, I realized what an interesting and incredible person he was. I am so sorry to hear of his passing and will always remember our adventures on our dirtbikes in the hills, listening to new kinds of music and generally finding our way through our teenage years. Scott was a unique individual who always did things just a bit differently and he will always be a part of those of us fortunate enough to have known him.
Devin Wright
January 4, 2007
Dear Swaner family,

I am very sad over the loss of Scott and i want to offer my deepest condolences to all of you. I hope you are all blessed with peace in your hearts, and abundant warm memories of the little prince you knew and raised and the prince among men that Scott was. His departure leaves a big hole in this world and among freinds known who made you happy with just the knowledge that they were out there charging ahead, and making things happen. It is so sad to lose Scott, his insight, strong philosophies and idealism, and his sharp humor and intellect. I loved just talking to Scott, debating ideas and philosophies, hearing adventures recounted, and just hanging out with the mind and the man who had a keen sense of appreciation for finer things in this life. I'll miss him dearly as I know you all do, yet he is not truly gone but lives on in the hearts of all who knew and loved him. May blessings of peace and love surround you and your dear mother during these difficult days. Most sincerely, Camron
Camron Carpenter
January 4, 2007
It's so hard to believe....
My memories are so vivid, colorful and fond. I feel so fortunate to have that chapter to read and reread always.
Know that I'm present with you in this grief.
Love, Lupine.
Lupine Hudson (Jones)
January 4, 2007
Swaner family,
I want to express my condolences to all of you. I love and respected Scott so much. Our runs that we had togeter in Sugarhouse park will never be forgotten. He kicked by butt! I love you all so much. I am so thankful that I had the chance to get to know Scott the time that he was here. He leaves behind a beautiful legacy.
Jeri McKendrick
January 4, 2007
Scott Swaner is some one I respect and look up to. I admire the things he accomplished in this life and hope to go for my passion as he did. I miss him much and will remember him always. I want to let my family know that I love them very much.
Dayne Swaner Moore
January 4, 2007
Sam just told me about the loss of dear, dear, Scott. Such a heartbreaker. I remember him so fondly, and appreciate his warmth and concern for our family for so many years. This is a tragic loss. I know his goodness, and the wonderful smile we knew, will linger through many seasons for those of us who loved him. Please accept my tender feelings and my regrets for the passing of this wonderful young man.
Mary Straight
January 4, 2007
Sheri--I am so sorry about your beloved brother--I know he was one of the lights of your life.
Marilyn Park
January 4, 2007
May peace be with those who love dear Scott. We all know that is what he wanted. Mourn for a moment, remember and rejoice for a lifetime but continue to DO. He was big on doing rather than the thought of doing...such a strong man with great integrity and courage. We will always try and have the drive you taught us.
Find strength in that unbiased, unconditional love from the monkey man.
All my love to my 2nd family, those wacky Swaners.
Stepheni K. Hutton
Stepheni Hutton
January 4, 2007
Dear Swaner Family,

We are heartbroken by the loss of Scott. We know how precious he was to your family and how sorely he will be missed. We treasure the time we shared with Scott. Although his time here ended much too soon, he will always remain with us through the love and friendship we shared. Our thoughts are with you at this most difficult time.
Kenyon, Gina, Lily, Kenyon and Gianni Kennard
Invite others to add memories
Share to let others add their own memories and condolences