Visitation atFuneral Home
Obituary of Barbara Jean Swift
Barbara Jean (Watkins) Swift, 91 of Wayne, passed away August 27, 2019. Beloved wife of the late Elmer Charles Swift, mother of Barry Swift and Carol Swift, and grandmother of Alexander Swift, she was born and raised in Oklahoma City, OK. She was a classically trained operatic contralto as well as a violinist and dancer who started performing as soon as she could walk. While studying for her Bachelor of Music at Lindenwood college, she won the 1948 St. Louis Symphony Young Artist Competition for contraltos.
After marrying, she and her family moved to Wayne in order to continue her singing career in N.Y.C. She was a soloist in churches and temples throughout NY and NJ while her children were growing up, and a substitute teacher in the Wayne and surrounding school systems. As a teacher, she specialized in challenging classes that needed extra care. She was known for having long hair to her ankles that she would wear in a bun and take down as a reward for very well-behaved classes. She continued her singing career once her children were grown, performing hundreds of performances with the Light Opera of Manhattan, and touring with musicals such as The Sound of Music, The Most Happy Fella, and Cabaret.
Viewing will be Friday, August 30 from 5-8 pm at the funeral home with a Memorial Gathering on Saturday, August 31at 3:00 p.m. at Lakeland Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, 231 Parish Drive, Wayne.
Interment will be at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery in St. Louis, Mo. where her husband is at rest.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to either Strengthen Our Sisters, Inc. , P.O. Box 359, Wanaque, New Jersey 07456, www.strengthenoursisters.org or the Cherokee Rainbow House, Box 163, 101 Market Place, Locust Grove, Oklahoma 74352, locustgroveoklahoma.com/support-us/
1591 Alps Road
at HAMBURG TURNPIKE
Wayne, New Jersey
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