Obituaries » Hugh Merlin Swan
September 4, 1933 - November 19, 2022
Funeral Home Cliff Gray Cremation & Funeral Services
Hugh Merlin Swan (Cubby)
Hugh Merlin Swan passed peacefully with family by his side at home in Greenwood on November 19, 2022 at the age of 89. Known to most as “Cub” or “Cubby,” he was nicknamed by his sister Musa when they were young, because he looked like a little bear cub. He was born in the house next door to his current home, to Carl Swan Sr. and Eva Bartlett Long Swan. He joined a large blended family as the eighth child, and lost his father at age two. With two younger additional siblings, he learned early in life the importance of family. Cub attended elementary school in Greenwood and graduated from Gould Academy in 1953.
He was an active duty service member in the US Army from 1954 to 1956, as a paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne Division and continued in the Army Reserve for 6 additional years. He recently shared, in retrospect, that it’s a “foolish thing to jump out of a perfectly good airplane.” He did, however, enjoy the experience and was proud of his service to his country.
Cubby was an accomplished machinist at Ekco Tibbets Wood Products in Greenwood, walking to work via a path he made through the woods and returning home to quickly eat lunch with his family each day. He made the tooling to shape new products and kept the machinery running by milling replacement parts. The latter part of his career, he worked as a supervisor at Penley’s Mill in West Paris. In addition, he painted buildings or rototilled gardens for neighbors, and served the community in roles such as Notary Public, Fire Warden, and Town Hall Maintenance, Most frequently he was in his shop milling a part or welding to repair a piece of machinery.
Community service was an important aspect of Cub’s life. He headed the Men’s Club of Greenwood and led a Scout troop when his children were young. He was a member of the Locke Mills Union Church and the Greenwood Historical Society. He received the Spirit of America Foundation Tribute for his service to the Town of Greenwood as a Volunteer Fire Department member for 30 years and as Fire Chief for nine years.
Cubby was an inventor at heart, always having projects underway, and collecting raw materials to make them. He designed and built a 20 foot icicle in his front yard, a geodesic dome and ball that hung in a pine tree. He built his own windmill and tower to water his Christmas tree farm. He made several wooden toys, in the style of the “Popeye” toys made at the local mill in the early 30’s. His father, also a machinist, had milled the shapers to create the toys. He attended Myasthenia Gravis support group meetings as he worked to overcome that illness. He also survived a lightning strike and extensive heart surgery as a younger man. Above all, his favorite activity was family gatherings, with both immediate and extended family celebrating life’s events or just visiting.
Hugh was predeceased by his parents and his siblings: Clover Swan Emery, Gwendolyn Swan Dorey, Carl Swan Jr., Delwin Long, Margaret Long Ring, Carol Swan Jordan, Wilma Beth Swan Brown, and Kaye Dorey Brown.
He is survived by his wife of 64 years, Denise Noyes Swan and his children, Brent Swan and wife, Barbara of Chiefland, FL, Melanie Swan Ellsworth and husband Warren, Ross Swan and wife Becky all of Greenwood, sister Musa Swan Brown of Oxford, ME, grandchildren Corey Swan and partner Taylor Maines of Dover, NH; Ashley Swan of New Haven, CT; Naomi Ellsworth and partner Neal Harrison-Billiat of Biddeford; Sadie Ellsworth and partner Tanner Grant of New Franklin, OH. He has one precious great grandson Eliot Rand Swan, son of Corey and Taylor and had a lovely visit with him in the days before his death.
At Cubby’s request there will be no services. Donations in his memory may be made to Androscoggin Home Health and Hospice, 15 Strawberry Ave Lewiston, Maine 04240 or the Locke Mills Union Church, 286 North Main Street, Locke Mills, Maine 04255. Condolences may be sent to Denise Swan at PO Box 191, Greenwood, ME or posted on the Cliff Gray Cremation website.
Arrangements by Cliff Gray Cremation & Funeral Services, 60 Andrews Road, Bryant Pond.