NH wooden boat builder Swifty Swift passes away

Brewitt Funeral Home
March 3, 2014
Filed under News

KENSINGTON, N.H. — Gordon H. “Swifty” Swift, 89, of Kensington died peacefully at his home on Wednesday, Feb 26, 2014 where he and his wife, Doris have lived for 67 years.

He was born Jan. 7, 1925 in West Hartford, Conn., son of the late John Elliot and Lillian May Hale.

Swifty attended the American Youth Hostel School in Meredith, N.H., and then graduated with an associate’s degree from the Thompson School of Applied Science at UNH in Durham, NH. During college Swifty was the head herdsman at the livestock department and “milked [his] way through college.” While in college, he met the love of his life, Doris Pierce. They married during their senior year living above the stallion barn on campus and then moved to Shaws Hill Farm in Kensington in 1947.

After farming for a few years, Swifty fell in love with boats and boat building and began his career by working for David C. (Bud) McIntosh at the McIntosh Boat Yard in Dover, NH. to learn the craft of boat building. In 1965, Swifty left boat building to be the operations manager at Great Bay Marina in Newington, NH.for 11 years. In 1976 he established Swift Custom Boats and for the next 30 years he built many beautiful wooden cruising boats. Swifty taught boat building at the WoodenBoat School in Brooklin, ME for 10 summers. He loved to mentor young boat builders and keep wooden boat building alive.

Swifty was active in the town of Kensington, NH as a member of the volunteer Fire Department for 50 years as well as serving on the planning board and board of appeals. He was also a member of the Kensington Congregational Church.

Surviving family members include his wife Doris, daughters, Diana McLeod of Burlington, VT. and Laurie McIntosh of Dover, NH. Grandsons Alex and Douglas McIntosh of Dover NH.

Services: The family will be having a celebration of Swifty’s life in May. Donations can be made to the Kensington Congregational Church.

For more information, visit www.brewittfuneralhome.com.

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