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Miles Leonard Swan passed away peacefully at home on Sunday, May 26th, 2019 surrounded by his loving family.
Miles “Torchy” Swan was born on March 28, 1926 in Livingston, Montana. He moved to Highwood with his parents and sisters (Shirley, Lila) to live on the ranch just outside of Highwood, Montana when he was about 1 year old. He attended school in Highwood, graduating in 1943. His mother, Lillian sent him to school when he was five years old to get him “out from underfoot” as he was a rascal to his younger sister, Lila. He attended Montana State College (MSC) for one quarter, returning to the ranch to assist with lambing during the winter. He joined the US Army in December of 1944, spending his first Christmas away from home in an empty barracks as everyone had gone home for the holidays. Upon being stationed in Hawaii, Miles translated Japanese and later Soviet radio code and became an ace shot, winning many awards for target shooting. The Hawaiian ocean was a new experience for him and he often commented on the fact that he didn’t swim, but sunk despite the salt water. After being promoted to Sargent and receiving an honorable discharge, he returned to MSC, earning a degree in Animal Industry in 1950. While at MSC, he was a member of Sigma Chi fraternity, making lifelong friends and was invited to be a member of the Les Buffons Service (i.e. fun) Organization. He met an adorable Wyoming girl named Doris (Nye) and soon asked her to be his wife. They married September 16, 1950 and returned to the ranch to promptly start a family. Miles worked on the ranch with his father, Leonard “Torchy” Swan and later became partners with his brother-in-law, Herb Pasha. The two remained partners for over 40 years and formed a life-long friendship.
In addition to ranching, Miles served in the state House of Representatives for 3 terms. He was active in the Stockgrowers organization, and served on two bank boards. He owned several properties in Great Falls, Montana. He was active in Masons and Eastern Star. Miles and Doris enjoyed travel and have been to most U.S. states and several countries in Europe and South America; their love of travel reveals Miles’ innate curiosity about people, places and how things work. After 80+ years of making his home on the ranch in Highwood, Miles and Doris moved to Great Falls in 2014 and quickly became active in the Senior Citizen bridge community. He loved to celebrate “family” at the annual Labor Day gathering at the cabin on Flathead Lake.
Miles is survived by his wife, Doris (Nye), daughters Linda, Lisa (Monk Semansky), Annette (John Schipf), Virginia “Ginny” (Thomas Sullivan), and Carol Gill McKeever, an exchange student from Barbados who became part of the family. His beloved grandchildren include Kirsten Schipf Brady (Dane), David Schipf (Hsiang Yuan), Joseph Semansky (Lisa), Kathryn “Katie” Schipf, Danial Sullivan (Aubrey Power), Rachel Semansky Kimm (Weston), Mari Sullivan, and Cormac “Mac” Sullivan. He feels one of his legacies is all his children and their spouses, as well as all of his grandchildren and their spouses graduated from college, predominately Montana State University. In addition, he celebrates four great-grandsons, Mathew and Andrew Brady, Abraham Schipf and Miles Kimm. He also enjoys many nieces, nephews, cousins, their children and grandchildren. He is survived by his sister-in-law Pennee (Swan) Albrecht and sister, Lila Pasha, who lives close by; they enjoyed many visits and trips to Highwood for church. He is preceded in death by his parents, Leonard and Lillian, sister Shirley Cornelius, brothers-in-law William “Bill” Cornelius and Herb Pasha, and brother Lee.
A celebration of life is planned in July at the Faith Community Church of Highwood, where he is an active member; the date will be shared when known. In lieu of flowers, Miles has requested donations to Highwood Commercial Club, Highwood Community Scholarship, Montana State University Alumni Foundation, or the Shriners Hospital.
Condolences to the family may be shared at www.croxfordfuneralhome.com