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Oct 9, 2017 11:19 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Gary R. Swanson Sr. Of North Sea Dies October 3

Oct 10, 2017 1:42 PM

Gary R. Swanson Sr. of North Sea and Hampton Bays died October 3, 2017, at East End Hospice. He had been diagnosed with esophageal cancer on June 22. He was 64.

Mr. Swanson was born in Southampton Hospital on February 24, 1953, to Bob and Dorothy Swanson. He grew up in North Sea and went to school there until age 12, when his parents divorced. He and his older sister moved to Florida with their father. He returned at age 16. He graduated from Hampton Bays High School in 1971. He lived on his own and supported himself with many jobs while finishing school. With his love for the water, boats and woodworking, a favorite job was at Scopinich boat yard.

At age 18, he began working at Mahoney Plumbing, a career that lasted for 46 years. He still continued to work for several weeks after the cancer diagnosis, with plans to retire next year.

Known to many as “Sudsy,” he met the love of his life, Betty Blydenburg Swanson, known as “Bit,” when he was 19 and she was 16. They married in 1973 at the ages of 17 and 20, and they would have celebrated their 44th anniversary on October 6.

In 1976, their only child, Gary Jr. was born.

Survivors said Mr. Swanson was a hard worker and always had a project to work on. He took great pride in his job and reputation as a master plumber.

He loved the beach, boating, woodworking, building and fixing things—the bigger the challenge, the better.

In later years, he loved to build balsa boats, with intricate details and then he started restoring old Jeeps. He was known for the hats he wore and his love of Pabst Blue Ribbon beer.

He is survived by his wife, Betty Blydenburgh Swanson; a son, Gary Jr. and wife Jennifer; and two grandsons Gary and Trevor. He is also survived by two brothers, Rob and wife Nancy, and Tim; a sister, Karen; as well as many nieces, nephews, and friends. He was predeceased by his parents, in-laws, and one brother-in-law.

Funeral arrangements were under the direction of the Brockett Funeral Home in Southampton. Visiting and a memorial service were held on October 7 and 8 at the funeral home.

Memorial donations may be made to East End Hospice, eeh.org, or donate to a local blood bank.

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