Richard Wayne Swain

Richard Wayne Swain

Aug. 9, 1944 – Oct. 4, 2018

Richard Wayne Swain, 74, died Oct. 4, 2018 at South Peninsula Hospital.

Richard was born in Morgan City, Los Angeles on Aug. 9, 1944, to Warren and Dorothy (Haase) Swain. He was raised in Brownsville, Texas, and Berwick, Los Angeles and enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps in 1961. He served with honor and was discharged in 1967.

He later met Jane Mathews Cavanaugh Joy in Seward, Alaska. They moved to Homer in 1986. He was proud to be a veteran, a member of the American Legion, a Mason, a Shriner and a member of the B.P.O.E.

Richard’s sea going career spanned 50 years, the last 30 working for Crowley Maritime Corps. He was Master of Steam and Motor of Vessels any oceans and was a highly respected captain. Over his career he towed barges and drilling rigs, assisted in rescues, fought ship and rig fires, did salvage work and retrieved vessels. His career took him all over the world: the Gulf of Mexico to the North Sea, from Tierra del Fuego to the Artic Ocean, from the Gulf of Suez and the Red Sea to the Straits of Magellan and many trips through the Panama Canal.

During the Falkland Island War, he was responsible for the safety of a drilling rig, maneuvering it away from the air skirmishes taking place above and around them. Time spent with Crowley was operating vessels in Cook Inlet, towing barges to the North Slope and, finally, captain on vessels in Valdez.

Richard was preceded in death by his parents; his brothers, Rodney Swain and Ronald Cumbest; his children, Cari, Shirley and Gary Marc Cavanaugh; and grandson Tyler Cavanaugh.

Richard is survived by his wife, Jane; children, Richard Warren Swain (Candy) of North Carolina, Karen Swain Georgia, and Randall Cavanaugh, Anchorage; siblings, Glen Swain (Betty) of Los Angeles, Patricia Kiffe of Los Angeles, and Susan Burgess (Greg) of Los Angeles; his grandchildren, Kristie, Kelly and Shelby Swain of North Carolina, and Emily Westbrook of Georgia; and great-granddaughter Tianah Cavanaugh of Homer.

A memorial service will be held in Louisiana at a later date.

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