Lewis's Story

Lewis Ellery "Mike" "Hammie" Swallow, 91, died July 26, 2016, at Madigan Estates health care facility in Houlton. He was born Feb. 21, 1925, in Oakfield, the second son of Harry and Thursie (Parker) Swallow.

Mike attended Oakfield schools, graduating in 1942 from Oakfield Community High School, where he played basketball and baseball, participated in speaking contests and one-act plays, and excelled in agriculture studies. He served in the U.S. Navy 1943-1946, achieving the rank of Radarman Second Class. He was stationed in the South Pacific including Guam, Guadalcanal, Okinawa and the Philippines during World War II aboard a PT tender and the USS Boston. He was a member of American Legion Post 52 in Oakfield. Following the war, Mike worked at C.H. Perry Jeweler in Houlton and was also was employed by Dunn Furniture, Ward Cabin Company, the Houlton Drive-In and Vose Peabody Real Estate. He was an insurance representative with National Life of Vermont for more than 50 years writing policies throughout Aroostook County and winning numerous awards, including memberships in the Million Dollar Round Table and the President's Club. Mike married Ruth V. Morrison on Feb. 28, 1946. They made their home in Houlton and for a short time, in Satellite Beach, FL. Together they raised three sons giving them a secure, loving home. Ruth passed away in 1973, and Mike lived in Veazie for a number of years before returning to Houlton and later to Oakfield. He married Mary E. Miller on Dec. 30, 1995.

Mike was a longtime member of the Houlton United Methodist Church serving on many of its boards and committees, and was active in the church's Men's Group. He also was a member, through the years and often in leadership positions, of the Jaycees, Houlton Rotary, Parent Teacher Association, local Republican Committee, March of Dimes drive, O.C.H.S. Alumni Association, and Oakfield Historical Society. He served on the Houlton School Committee and the Oakfield Board of Selectmen. One of Mike's greatest joys was the Swallow woods camp at Cut Pond, where he spent many a night swapping stories with family and friends; he loved fishing, especially fly-fishing and was a hunter and trapper as well. He enjoyed picking berries and planting a garden, walking the woods trails, paddling the ponds, snow-sledding and cross-country skiing. Mike was an amateur photographer and painter and was good at fly-tying and carpentry. He enjoyed high school basketball games, cheering for the New York Yankees, playing cards with friends and watching his great-grandson play soccer. Affectionately called "Hammie" by his grandchildren, he loved spending time with them. Mike was outgoing, kind and goo;, a man of integrity, honesty, generosity, and humor. His love of country and service to community, his faith and friendship were a witness to all who knew him.

He leaves his wife, Mary Miller of Oakfield; three sons, Formann Swallow and his wife, Barbara, of Houlton, Gregory Swallow and his wife, Kristy, of Hodgdon and Peter Swallow of Bangor; a stepdaughter, Donna Woodard and her husband, Steve, of Cumberland; a grandson, Matthew Swallow and his wife, Sonya, of New Limerick; a granddaughter, Alison Swallow Pierce of Bangor; two stepgrandsons, Lewis Woodard of Cumberland and Charles Wampler of Houlton; a great-grandson, Daniel Swallow of Presque Isle; a brother, Halden Swallow of Oakfield; a sister, Laura McLaughlin of Dyer Brook; five sisters-in-law, Marjorie Swallow of Oakfield, Priscilla Swallow of Houlton, Barb Staniszewski of Shelby Township, MI, Katherine Miller of Tacoma, WA, and Ann Anderson of Covington, WA; many nieces, nephews, cousins and friends. Mike was predeceased by his parents; his first wife, Ruth; three brothers, Donald "Pat" Swallow, Archie "Joe" Swallow and Kenneth Swallow; two brothers-in-law, Olin McLaughlin and Ralph Morrison; and a sister-in-law, Gloria Swallow.

Visiting hours will be 6-8 p.m. Friday, July 29, at the Houlton United Methodist Church, where funeral services will be held 1 p.m. on Saturday, July 30. Interment will be in the Evergreen Cemetery, Houlton. In lieu of flowers, those who wish may donate in Mike's name to the Houlton United Methodist Church or the charity of one's choice, care of Bowers Funeral Home, P.O. Box 579, Houlton, ME 04730. For online memory book and to leave condolences, please visit www.bowersfuneral.com.
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