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Barbara Anne (Flewelling) Swanson

Barbara Anne (Flewelling) Swanson, 80, wife of Norman L. Swanson, was called Home to the Lord on August 24, 2022 after her long and courageous battle with Alzheimer’s Disease.

Barbara was born in Bangor, ME the daughter of the late Arthur A. and Irene M. (Kent) Flewelling. She was raised in Orono, Waterville and Augusta, ME. She was always very proud to be from Maine. After graduating from Cony High School in 1960 she studied Latin and French at Colby College in Waterville, ME and in 1964 graduated summa cum laude. Barbara was a member of Phi Beta Kappa in the State of Maine and was dedicated to her studies and education. After teaching for one year in Wells, ME she was hired to teach French and Latin at Hamilton-Wenham Regional High School in South Hamilton. It was at HWRHS where she met her husband Norman Swanson, and after a brief courtship they married on December 17, 1966 at the Methodist Church in Hamilton. They spent their careers teaching and were passionate about education, literacy and learning. Barbara spent many years teaching at Hamilton-Wenham Regional High School and 26 years teaching at The Pingree School in South Hamilton. Barbara loved teaching and tutoring and was always very proud of her students’ hard work and achievements.

Barbara and Norman were long-time residents of Ipswich on Edge Street and active members of the Ipswich and Hamilton-Wenham communities, including coaching a girls’ softball team in Ipswich, leading Girl Scout Brownie Troop 382, and teaching Sunday school at the United Methodist and Congregational churches in Ipswich. Barbara was an avid reader, baker, knitter, sewer, crocheter, needle-pointer, cross-stitcher, quilter and gardener. She was famous for her home-made jam and zucchini & green tomato bread, both of which were made from berries and vegetables from the garden. One could always find Barbara in the kitchen cooking, by the woodstove knitting or in the front yard weeding. Some of Norman and Barbara’s fondest memories were spent in their kitchen canning vegetables, making jam and baking bread.

In addition to her loving husband Norman of 56 years, she is survived by two daughters,  Karin Swanson of Rowley, Kristina  Swanson and her husband Andrew Reid of Natick; sister-in-law,  Ellen Swanson of Hamilton; niece Jane Stone and her husband Bill of of Manchester-by-the-Sea; a nephew, David  Swanson and his wife Amy of South Hamilton, as well as three grandnieces, one grandnephew, many friends, and countless cousins.

She is predeceased by her brother-in-law, Donald R. Swanson of Hamilton.

‘I will still be the same when you are old and gray, and I will take care of you. I created you. I will carry you and always keep you safe’. Isaiah 46:4

Her funeral service will be held Saturday, September 10 at 11 am in the First Presbyterian Church Northshore, 179 County Rd., Ipswich. Family and friends are cordially welcomed. Visiting hours will be held Friday, September 9 from 4 to 7 pm in the Whittier-Porter Funeral Home, 6 High St., Ipswich. Interment in the Locust Grove Cemetery in Folly Cove, Gloucester will be private. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorial contributions in her name  may be made to The Alzheimer’s  Assoc. at  https://www.alz.org/.


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