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 www.donotgogentle.blogspot.com 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.
Published in The Salt Lake Tribune on Jan. 4, 2007.