John  Swan, Jr.

John Vincent "Jay" Swan, Jr.

1949 - 2024

Share Your Memory of

Obituary of John Vincent Swan, Jr.

John (Jay) Vincent Swan Jr. of Woodstock, CT passed peacefully in his sleep (His last Irish goodbye) on Wednesday, April 10th 2024. He was 74 years old.


Born June 13th, 1949 in Worcester Mass. to Elizabeth (Rowe) Swan and John Vincent Swan Sr. He married Susan (Shaw) Swan on June 22nd, 1990 in Woodstock, CT after falling in love while working for the State of Connecticut in the Department of Disability Services. Soon after they welcomed two children, Elizabeth M. Swan and Allison J. Swan.


Jay was a huge advocate for education. He graduated Leicester High School in 1968 and later attended Quinsigamond Community College in Worcester Mass. gaining his Associate’s Degree in 1971. He got his Bachelor’s Degree in Social and Rehabilitation Services in 1973 from Assumption College in Worcester Mass. and later a Master’s in Education from the University of Connecticut in 1984. Jay had many careers over his lifetime. He worked for the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health in the Rutland Rehabilitation Center from 1969 until 1971. He worked for the State of Connecticut in the Department of Developmental Disabilities from 1973 until 2003. During this time he was a Case Worker, a Special Education Teacher, an Adult Education Coordinator, Director of Staff Development, and a Contract Manager. Always one to keep busy, he began to work for the Town of Woodstock after his retirement from the state in 2003. He was a Constable, Sergeant, Deputy Chief, and later the First Selectman of Woodstock, a title he was very proud and honored to have served from 2019 up until his passing.


Jay was also very active in the Boy Scouts of America (Scoutmaster Troop 22 1973-1983; Chair of the Indian Trails Council, Scouting for the Handicapped Committee 1978-1983; Director of the June Norcross Scout Reservation 1981-1983; District Commissioner, Quinebaug District, Indian Trails Council in the 1980s). Jay was dedicated to environmentalism and firearms safety. He was a Certified Instructor in Conservation Education, Firearms Safety, and Advanced Bowhunting. He was a life member of the Pomfret Rod and Gun Club, the National Rifle Association, and Ducks Unlimited conservation group. He loved to have the windows down in his truck while blasting The Rolling Stones and The Who. “If it’s too loud, you’re old.” He had a great, dry sense of humor and loved to quote Mel Brooks movies and Jim Morrison and The Doors, “People are Strange.” He was constantly assisting others, giving advice and a listening ear to those who needed it. He left a legacy as a role model helping his community and people with disabilities. He was a leader who made people feel like they mattered. He loved telling stories that included his friends Marjorie Jones, Joe Dokes, and Joe Schmo.


He is survived by his wife Susan (Shaw) Swan; their daughters Elizabeth M. Swan (and her husband Shane W. Kegler) and Allison J. Swan (and her partner Ian Sullivan); his “third daughter” Lauren A. Johnson, his siblings Frederick Swan, Marybeth Bardot and her husband Doug Bardot, and Helen Harris and her husband Richard Harris. He is also survived by his mother-in-law Joyce Shaw, his sister and brother-in-law Lesley and Robert Goodrich and many cousins, nieces, nephews, and the Orlowskis, who are like family. He was predeceased by his mom, dad, and his beloved younger brother David W. Swan.


Calling hours will be on Monday, April 15th at Smith & Walker Funeral Home 148 Grove Street, Putnam, CT from 2-4pm and 6-8pm. Funeral services will be held April 16th at 11am at St. Mary's Church of the Visitation in Putnam, CT. Burial to follow at Woodstock Central Cemetery on Center Cemetery Road in Woodstock, CT. A Celebration of Life will be held at Grill 37 in Pomfret, CT at 2pm. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Friends of Webster June Norcross Webster Scout Reservation at

For more information please visit Share a memory at