Dr. George Herbert Swift Jr.

  • "I am so sad to read of george's passing. I had gotten to..."
    - Al Armstrong
  • "We are the family of Herbert Parker. William & Judy..."
    - William PARKER
  • "I remember George as the Mathematician who taught and..."
    - K David Prince
  • "We did not have the pleasure of knowing Mr. Swift directly...."
    - Garth, Carol and Ushus Hermanson
  • "On the tennis court or in conversation over coffee (and..."
    - Jim Colllins

July 1, 1926 ~ September 23, 2014

Dr. George Herbert Swift, Jr., mathematician, chess master, tennis enthusiast, and cartoonist, passed away on September 23, 2014 at the age of 88. George was born on July 1, 1926 in Minot, ND to Rev. George H. Swift Sr., rector of St. Paul's Episcopal Church, and Alice May Parker Swift. He grew up in Salem, OR.
George served in the U.S. Navy in World War II, building B17's and repairing radar equipment while stationed in Guam and Saipan.
Afterward, he earned a Master's degree in Mathematics at the University of Oregon in 1951 and his Ph.D. in Mathematics at the University of Washington in 1954.
George began his career as an instructor at Duke University in 1954 and was recruited by IBM in 1956, where he spent 32 years as a computer scientist, earning patents, publishing papers, teaching and recruiting for IBM at universities nationwide, and contributing to the creation of the IBM 5100.
George married Adele Adams from Lovell, WY in 1958 and they raised three sons, George Herbert III, Thomas Adams, and Jonathan Parker.
George retired from IBM in 1988 to teach mathematics and computer science full time, play chess and tennis, and publish cartoons.
When his beloved Adele passed away in 2007, George lived with his son Tom in Vancouver, WA until August 9, 2013, when a well-publicized auto accident on I-5 in Portland, OR claimed Tom's life. Following this, George lived with each of his surviving sons in turn until his pulmonary fibrosis, diagnosed in 2012, overcame him.
Besides his father and mother; wife Adele; and son Tom; George was preceded in death by his older sisters, Alice and Eleanor.
Surviving him are his younger sister, Jean; his oldest son, Herb; and his youngest son Jon. In addition, George leaves behind seven grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held at St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Salem, OR. George will be laid to rest alongside Adele at Willamette National Cemetery.
Please sign his guest book at: www.columbian.com/obits.
Published in The Columbian on Oct. 5, 2014
bullet U.S. Navy bullet University of Washington bullet World War II