Susan  Swanson

Susan Butterworth Swanson

Sunday, May 14th, 1944 - Monday, October 14th, 2019
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Susan Butterworth Swanson, 75, of Kennebunk, passed away peacefully, October 14th at the Gosnell Memorial Hospice House with her two sons and loving family by her side.
Susan was born on May 14th, 1944 in Monroe, LA, the eldest daughter of Dale Jared Butterworth and Florence Caro (Atwood) Butterworth. In 1949, after her father’s service in WWII with the Army Air Corps, the family moved back to Maine. They bought a farm in Cumberland, and it was here on the Butterworth farm, where she and her 4 siblings grew up.
After graduating from Greely High School, she earned a Bachelors’ degree in English from the University of Maine where she also studied History and Music. She later went on to receive a Masters in early child development at the University of Southern Maine. While at the University in Orono, Susan played cello in the Bangor Symphony orchestra and sang with the University Singers.
Susan was as an elementary school teacher for 35 years, 33 of those years in Arundel, Maine, where she estimated she had taught 1000 children in 1st and 4th grades.
Sue enjoyed many hobbies, was an avid reader and an expert gardener, quilter, knitter and cook. Her flower gardens were spectacular, and in her retirement, she worked part time as a gardener where she used her expertise to transform the garden’s of others.
Her quilting group worked for many years to donate quilts at Christmas to the women’s shelter in Sanford, ME. Each year, she would inquire as to the number of women and children and their ages. They would then customize the quilts to meet the needs of these families, and Sue was sure to have the quilts blessed before delivery.
Traveling was a passion for Susan and her family, and she had many adventures with her siblings, sons, grandchildren, and more. There are many fond memories with her son, Aaron’s family on the Tim Janis American Christmas tour. They traveled for 5 Christmas seasons, singing all over New England, NY, PA, including 4 trips to Carnegie Hall. She has many wonderful memories of travel with her son Tobias, to include Costa Rica, and in his adult years, she took many trips to visit him out west, in Oregon, California, Utah and more. She and her sisters enjoyed multiple excursions in the US in addition to overseas trips with the latest one to England in May of this year.
Family and friends were extremely important to Susan, and luncheons and dinner parties were wonderful gatherings. Nanie Sue was an extremely loving grandmother, who took time to plan special visits and outings. She was also a devoted daughter, sister, Aunt and Great Aunt and was found at birthdays, games, concerts, dance recitals, graduations, showers and other life events. One friend group, those ‘Arundel girls’ gathered monthly for years. She was genuinely interested in those she knew and met, and it was not uncommon to receive a handwritten note of thanks or encouragement.
She was predeceased by her parents Dale and Florence; a sister Linda Butterworth, and a brother-in-law Samuel Wilkinson.
Susan is survived by her two sons, John Aaron McPike and wife Wendi, of Cumberland; and Tobias Swanson of Kennebunk; her beloved grandchildren, Joshua and Emily McPike; sister Sally Wilkinson of Cumberland; sister Jane Herbst of Torrington, CT; brother James Butterworth and partner LeAnn Costello of Cumberland; 12 nephews and nieces, 15 great nephews and nieces, and a large circle of friends.
Susan’s kind and generous spirit will be missed, and her laughter and thoughtfulness fondly
At Susan’s request, there will be no formal service. To honor her memory, there will be a celebration of her life on November 2nd, from 1-4pm at the Atlantic Hall, 173 Main St, Cape Porpoise, ME. It will be a time to gather in a more casual atmosphere to share treasured memories of a life well-lived.
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Service Details

  • Visitation

    Saturday, November 2nd, 2019 | 1:00pm - 4:00pm
    Saturday, November 2nd, 2019 1:00pm - 4:00pm
    Atlantic Hall
    137 Main St.
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email


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Karen Chadbourne

Posted at 08:29pm
My deepest sympathy to Sue’s family. We worked at MLDay for many years together and then I moved to California. I have very fond memories of our time together at MLDay School and outside at many social activities. Sue you were a beautiful, creative, beautiful person both inside and out. Rest In Peace

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