Mark Allan Swift
Mark Allan Swift age 86, of Comfrey died on April 2, 2019, at Ridgeway on 23rd in New Ulm.
Services were held at St. Paul’s Catholic Church in Comfrey on Friday, April 5. The clergy was Father Andy Michels. Interment was in the St. Paul Catholic Cemetery in Comfrey.
Arrangements were with the Sturm Funeral Home in Comfrey. Online condolences may be left for the family at www.sturmfh.com.
Mark Swift was born in Waseca on February 22, 1933. Mark grew up in Waseca and later attended Sacred Heart Catholic School, where he graduated from high school in 1951. Mark worked for a time for the Bell Telephone Company until his enlistment in the US Army. Following basic training, Mark was stationed in Seoul, Korea where he served the Army as a supply sergeant. Following his honorable discharge Mark enrolled in Mankato State College where he majored in business administration with the intention of returning to the Bell Telephone Company in a management administration position. After discussion with friends and advisors, Mark decided that he wanted to become a teacher and changed his major to business education with a minor in athletics.
On June 1, 1957 Mark married Jean Marie Betchwars also of Waseca. After their marriage Mark and Jean settled in Mankato where Mark continued his education. On Dec. 25, 1958 the couple welcomed a son, Steven Mark Swift born in Mankato.
Mark received his bachelor degree in business education in 1959. In the fall of 1959 Mark accepted a position in the Comfrey school district as business teacher, where he taught business law, accounting, bookkeeping, typing, keyboarding, office practice, and as most Comfrey students remember, driver’s education. He was the longtime advisor for the school newspaper, the Spotlight and the school annual Echoes. In addition to these duties, he also coached B team basketball and track. Mark continued in this position for his entire 37 year teaching career.
On January 2, 1963 Mark and Jean welcomed a second son Joseph Lee Swift born in Comfrey.
In 1963 the senior class dedicated the annual to Mr. Swift, Mr. Swift and this class began their high school careers together in 1959. Mark was very honored with this dedication and has maintained friendships with students from this class for the rest of his life.
After several years Mark began work on his master’s degree taking classes on weekends and evenings from Mankato state College. He received his Master of Science in teaching in 1971.
Through the years teaching in Comfrey, Mark also coached elementary basketball and administered the community education and summer rec programs. He began painting houses in the summer, an activity he loved doing with his children and grandchildren and he continued to paint upon retirement.
Upon Mark’s retirement from the Comfrey Public School he enjoyed staying busy with many groups and activities that included the Lions, the American Legion Post 244, Beyond the Yellow Ribbon and many other organizations. Upon realizing a need, Mark organized Comfrey’s first Red Cross blood drives. These drives continued on for many successful years. When Mark wasn’t volunteering for activities he enjoyed spending time with and spoiling his grandchildren. He also enjoyed golfing, playing cards and bowling with his buddies.
Mark is survived by his wife Jean; sons, Steven and wife Renee Augustin Swift of Jackson and Joseph and wife Alicia Pollock Swift of New Ulm; grandchildren, Sara Swift, Samantha Swift, Cassie Swift Getting (Jalen), Maggie Swift, John Swift and Matthew Swift and great-granddaughter, Ruthie Marie Getting.