WALPOLE, N.H. – Shirley L. Swain, 89, of Walpole, N.H., passed peacefully with her family by her side Monday, Jan. 27, 2020. She was born April 7, 1930 in Greenfield, Mass., the daughter of Ernest and Faith (Kemp) Ranta. She spent her early years in Greenfield before moving to Walpole where she attended school at the Walpole Academy. On Sept. 28, 1946, she married Clarence “Hector” Swain to whom she was married for 69 years until his passing in 2015.
Shirley worked for Hubbard Farms her entire career, starting in the hatchery and ending as an assistant in the laboratory many years later. She was also the bookkeeper for her sons’ business “Swain’s Sunoco,” located in Walpole.
Shirley was an active member of the American Legion Post 77 Women’s Auxiliary in Walpole, spearheading many fundraisers to benefit those less fortunate in town. She was seen every Memorial Day in front of the Post Office selling poppies. She also cooked and served food at the American Legion for Friday night feeds and Sunday morning breakfast. She was a great cook and well-known for her pies. Her generosity knew no bounds.
Shirley’s greatest love was family. For many years, she hosted Sunday night dinners for her children, grandchildren, and later great-grandchildren. She loved playing cards and was known to her family as the “deuce queen.”
Shirley is predeceased by her parents, husband, and her siblings Gilbert Ranta, Virginia Blake, Evelyn Robbins, Joyce Young, Linda Sutherland, and Gary Ball.
She is survived by her children Steven Swain, Lawrence (Andy) Swain, Leslie (Ellen) Swain, Kenneth (Jan) Swain, Diane (Moe) Harty, and Patti (Jim) Neal, and her beloved dog Maggie. She has 14 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren whom she loved dearly.
There will be a graveside service at the Walpole Cemetery Saturday, Feb. 1 at 11 a.m., followed by a reception at Alyson’s Orchard. Donations may be made to Walpole Ambulance, P.O. Box 162, Walpole, NH 03608.