1923 – 2014
AUGUSTA — John Richard Swindells, “Bumpa,” 90, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, Oct. 29, at the Veterans’ Home in Augusta, where he was surrounded by his family.
He was born in Lewiston on Nov. 16, 1923, a son of James and Alice Burpee Swindells. John grew up in Lewiston. He was awarded his high school diploma in 2001.
At age 17, John enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps to serve his country in World War II. He went to boot camp on Paris Island in South Carolina, where he learned to be a 50-caliber machine gunner. From San Diego, Calif., John was deployed to the Pacific Theater for over five years. He saw action on Guadalcanal, the Philippines and Peleliu. It was on Peleliu, where John held off countless banzai charges and was wounded. He was cared for aboard the ship and was taken to the Chelsea Naval Hospital in Chelsea, Mass. He was honorably discharged in 1945, with the rank of sergeant.
John returned to live in Lewiston and worked at the Bates Mill, where he met the love of his life, Joan Patricia Hurd. They married in May 1949, and enjoyed a 65-year union. He also worked at the U.S. Post Office in Auburn for 38 years, until his retirement in April 1995.
John is survived by his wife, Joan Hurd Swindells, of Lewiston; his four children and their spouses, Steve and Mary Swindells of Smithfield, Pamela Swindells of Lewiston, James and Donna Swindells of Portland and John and Paula Leavitt of Turner. John is also survived by his sister, Dottie Kay, and her husband, Douglass Kay, of Biddeford Pool. He has 10 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren.
John was predeceased by his mother, Alice Burpee Swindells, and his father, James Swindells, of Lewiston; his brother, James Swindells Jr.; and his sister, Mary Turcotte.
Condolences, donations and a video tribute may be accessed online at www.albert-burpee.com.