Springfield-Paul R. Swenson of Springfield, MA, passed away on October 16, 2021, at Baystate Medical Center. He was born on February 19, 1945, in New York City, grew up in NY and CT, and graduated from Miami University (OH) where he was a member of the Men's Glee Club. He served in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War and earned a Master's degree in Educational Psychology at Penn State University upon his honorable discharge. Paul worked in government and higher education for most of his life, first as a researcher for the federal government publishing the results of his research in a number of professional journals and trade publications. He then worked for the City of Phoenix, AZ, Municipal Court coordinating Information Technology initiatives for the Court, City Prosecutor’s Office and Phoenix Police Dept. He moved to western MA in 1984 to work as an Information Technology Project Manager for the University of Massachusetts where he managed projects in support of the UMass President’s Office, including managing the University-wide Y2K project. After retiring in 2002, Paul worked as an IT management consultant in higher education. He resided for over 30 years in the McKnight neighborhood. During his time in western MA, he was involved in community theater, appearing in a number of plays for Little Flags Theater and the Monson Arts Council. He also volunteered time post-retirement at Baystate Medical Center's Cardiac Rehabilitation Unit and served on the McKnight Neighborhood Council Board of Directors. Paul was an avid reader, enjoyed watching old movies (especially the horror/sci-fi genre), and was a lover of animals, having many furry friends during his life. He was a great fan of Miami, Penn State and UMass athletics and actively supported the arts and professional hockey in Springfield. Paul loved to laugh. He also loved to travel, visiting almost all of the 50 states and over 25 foreign countries during his life. He was an early protester against the wars in Vietnam and Iraq, a loyal supporter of the Democratic party, and a strong believer in progressive values and policies. He trusts that the American people will ultimately reject fascism and fight to ensure that our democracy endures.
Paul is survived by his loving wife Karen (Woodmansee) of 35 years (who called him “Buster”), his sisters-in-law Jane and Sharon, many nieces and nephews, several grandnephews and grandnieces, two great-grandnieces, his three “faux daughters” Suzanne, Holly and Margaret, and many dear friends. He also leaves his two feline kids, Boris and Bella (a third, Squeaky, passed away in July). He was predeceased by his father Walter Swenson, his mother Marion (Swenson) Kergaravat, and his sister Lois Morabito.
There will be a memorial service followed by a celebration of Paul’s life in the spring of 2022. Interment will be private. In lieu of flowers, a donation in Paul's memory may be made to the World Wildlife Fund ( www.worldwildlife.org) or the American Civil Liberties Union ( www.aclu.org).
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