Carol J. Swift

Carol J. Swift, 82, of Dubuque, passed away Saturday, March 27, 2021 at Luther Manor in Dubuque.

Visitation for Carol will be held from 3:00-7:00 p.m. Thursday, April 1, 2021 at Leonard Funeral Home & Crematory, 2595 Rockdale Road with prayer service at 7:00 p.m. by Rev Dianne Grace of Hospice of Dubuque. Masks and social distancing required. Entombment will be at Mt. Calvary Cemetery at a later date. A celebration of Carol’s life will also be held at a later date. Online condolences may be left at

Carol was born in Dubuque on June 11, 1938, daughter of Carl and Frances (Baker) Schwinger. She graduated from Dubuque Senior High School, Class of 1956. She married Thomas D. Swift on October 12, 1957 and they had 6 children.  Thomas preceded her in death January 15, 2004.

As her children entered school Carol went to work for Wm C Brown Publishing Co as a proofreader, then worked for FM Jaeger Hardware as a bookkeeper.  At the age of 48 Carol realized her dream of becoming an RN, earning her degree from Northeast Iowa Community College in 1986.  She then went on to work for Mt. Carmel Sisters of Charity, BVM, retiring in 2003.

Over the years Carol spent much of her time in the kitchen – whether it was cooking, baking, doing dishes, paying bills (figuring out how to “rob Peter to pay Paul”), or folding yet another load of laundry (which was never-ending).  For many years the family spent weekends and summer holidays at Nita-Ho Valley with relatives and friends.  Good thing Carol liked to cook because all of the outings to Nita-Ho required careful meal planning and preparation, packing of extra clothes for the kids, along with anything else you would need, only to haul it all back home each day, clean up the mess, start another load of laundry, and do it all over again the next day.  Carol was no doubt exhausted and looking forward to going back to work on many-a-Mondays, but the many memories made were priceless for all!  In her rare “spare time” Carol loved to knit, crochet, and create other homemade gifts for family and friends.  She also tried her hand at writing and illustrating children’s books, and though never published, to this day they are still treasured by her grandchildren. Later in life, this thing called – legalized gambling in the State of Iowa – came about.  Carol loved to make an all-nighter at the Casino every now and then.  If she wasn’t home, her children had a pretty good idea where to look.  For all you slot-machine lovers out there – Carol has relinquished “her machines” to you now.  Take good care of them – feed them well – and they may be good to you.  Carol is now sitting at her own bank of machines in heaven, with her Mama, and they’re hitting those buttons with smiles from ear-to-ear.

Carol is survived by her children: Thomas (Sandi) Swift, Susan (Mark) Redding, Greg (Dawn) Swift, and Jeffrey (Tara McDermott) Swift all of Dubuque, and James (Julie) Swift of Cedar Rapids. Grandchildren: Christa (Adam) Peterson, Rachel (Matt) Teal, Kate (Mark) Sainci, Kristen (Mikelange) Olbel, Grant (Dianne) Hooker, Theresa (DeWayne Lumpkin) Baureis, Chad Redding, Nicole (John Hardin) Redding, Samantha Swift, Sara Swift, Nathan Swift, Andrea Swift, Jimmy McDermott, Maggie McDermott, Erica (James) Leary, Casey Mihm, Dylan Swift, and Logan Swift.  Great grandchildren: Evan, Chloe, Jolden, Xander, Gage, Claire, Grace, Ruby, Samantha, Hallie, Cecelia, Elliott, Mikelange II, Guilia, Uriah, Aveah, Kyhe, and Amara. Carol is also survived by her brothers: Francis (Bud) Schwinger of Seattle, WA and Mark (Carole) Schwinger of Monson, MA; her sister, Roberta (Charles) Olson of St. Peter, MN; in-laws John & Ann (Swift) Nauman of Dubuque and John & Peggy Swift of Spring Valley, CA; along with many nieces and nephews.

Carol was preceded in death by her parents Carl & Frances Schwinger, husband Thomas Swift, son Steven Swift, daughter-in-law Peggy (Schissel) Swift, nephew Michael Schwinger, and sister-in-law Rose Lee Schwinger.

Memorials may be made in Carol’s name to Luther Manor Sunshine Valley Suites, 3131 Hillcrest Rd, Dubuque, IA 52001 and Hospice of Dubuque, 1670 John F. Kennedy Rd, Dubuque, IA 52002 or any charity of your choosing.

The Swift family would like to thank the nurses and staff at Luther Manor Communities and Hospice of Dubuque for their care, compassion, and kindness shown to Mom and the family over the past few months.  It is truly appreciated.

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