James Francis Swan

7/8/1943 - 7/6/2021

Obituary

For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord.  They are plans for Good.”  Jeremiah 29.11

 This was the life that James Francis Swan lived.  Serving and supporting the House of our Lord. Always “planning and providing good deeds for the Church.”  When James lived in Burien, Washington, he would walk over a mile to Church every Sunday and always volunteered to help clean and prepare the church for services and activities for the youth and adults.  When he was able, he read the Bible every day.

James Francis Swan was born on July 8, 1943, to Sarah Elsie Lewis Swan (Lummi) and William Jefferson Swan (Nez Perce) at the Tulalip Indian Hospital.   He was the grandson of Se’Leit’Se’ Julia Ann Kwina and the great-grandson of Chief Henry Kwina of the Lummi Nation.

James lived on the Lummi Reservation and Bainbridge Island until he was four years old, in 1948 he moved to the Makah Reservation located in Neah Bay, Washington where his father worked for Crown Zellerbach.  After completing most of his education in the Neah Bay schools, he moved with his mother, brother Robert and sister Mary to Seattle in 1960. His mother wanted to be close to her oldest son Henry “Pat” Swan and daughter Julia, nicked named “Julie” Johnson, who both married and had moved to Seattle in 1959.

All three children entered school in Seattle and the boys came home from School the first day and said, “There are more kids in school, then all of Neah Bay!”  This was a major culture shock, but soon, James and his brother Robert and Sister Mary made friends with their neighbors.  Most importantly, their mother found a Church, become involved in the community. During this period, Sarah Elsie Lewis volunteered for the West Seattle Senior Program where she was honored as one of the “Outstanding Seniors” for her volunteer services.

James’ mother taught all her children to volunteer and give back to their communities.  James followed his mother’s direction for years and volunteered for several Churches in Seattle.  Not once a month, but every single week.

Every Thanksgiving the family would meet and give “thanks for their blessings.”   James always provided the family prayer before dinner and ended the prayer with “and all that stuff.” Everyone would smile at the end of the prayer, with appreciation for James’ kindness and thoughtfulness.

James was a loving son who helped to care for his mother until she passed away August 18, 1991. James was a wonderful brother who just loved his family, and he was a special Uncle who wanted “only the best” for each of his 10 Nephews and Nieces, 16 great nephews and nieces and 2 great nieces and 1 great grandson.  29 nephews and nieces in all.

James is survived by his sisters Julia “Julie” Ann Johnson and Mary Elizabeth Swan-Smith and brother Robert Jefferson Swan. James was proceeded in death by his older brother Henry John “Pat” Swan and his mother Sarah Elsie Lewis-Swan and Father William Jefferson Swan.

James will always be remembered for his love of his church and family.  We were all blessed to know Jimmy.

A memorial service will be held on Friday, July 16, at 10:00am at Moles Farewell Tributes Ferndale, 2039 Main Street.

Memorial Service

  • Date & Time: July 16, 2021 (10:00 AM)
  • Venue: Moles Farewell Tributes Ferndale
  • Location: 2039 Main Street Ferndale, WA 98248

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