Obituary : John W. Swan
Surrounded by his loving wife of 22 years, Pamela, and his three devoted children, John Richard, Julian, and Jackie, John W. Swan died on Tuesday, June 30, after a long and courageous battle with cancer.
John was born on March 29, 1952, on Tachikawa Air Force Base in Tokyo, Japan, where his father, while serving in the United States Air Force, met and married Mitsuko Furusawa. He is survived by his mother; three brothers: Benjamin, James, and Clarence; and three sisters: Jennifer, Carolyn, and Deborah. He was predeceased by his father, Clarence John, and his sister, Penny. John's mother, along with Deborah and Benjamin, had just visited with John on Martha's Vineyard, leaving the evening before John died.
As the son of a military man, John and his family lived in Japan for six years and then in various places throughout the United States, until the family finally settled in Colorado Springs, Colo., where his father retired from the Air Force, and John attended and graduated from Harrison High School. He played football, basketball, and baseball there. John then enlisted in the Marine Corp, where he studied bookkeeping, management, and culinary arts, and served his country faithfully for 13 years.
John had many overseas assignments, including two tours on Okinawa, Japan, a country he loved, since he spoke Japanese and had a Japanese mother. He also spent a year on remote tour in Adak, Alaska, where he made a point of using the local seafood in the NCO dining facilities that he managed.
Following his Honorable Discharge in 1983, John returned to Colorado Springs and worked in his mother's restaurant, married Pamela, and welcomed the birth of their first son, John Richard. The young family then headed for the east coast, settling in Carver, where their second son, Julian, was born.
John and Pam both worked as managers for Cumberland Farms. Hearing about an opening to manage the company's store on Martha's Vineyard, they came to visit and eagerly applied for the position. John, Pam, John Richard, and Julian relocated to the Island upon accepting the position in 1992. They settled in Oak Bluffs, and daughter Jackie was born on the Vineyard. John fell totally in love with the quiet, relaxed life on Martha's Vineyard. The Island, with its natural beauty and welcoming community, became his home. John coached both his sons' basketball and baseball teams for many years, and later enjoyed watching their games and correcting the officials. John's greatest joy and passion was his family, which he adored and took infinite pride in. They will forever miss and cherish his constant love and devotion.