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Helen Cunningham Swindler, aged 95 of Norwalk, CT, died Monday, March 5th at Norwalk Hospital from complications of a stroke. She was the wife of the late Major Leland M. Swindler, U.S. Marine Corps, of Fairfax, Virginia, her husband of nearly 50 years until his death in 1996.
Helen was the daughter of Edward J. Cunningham and Helen Hickey Cunningham. Born on August 21, 1922 in Lowell, MA, she grew up in Washington, D. C. where her father was one of the founders of the U.S. Conciliation Service and a federal labor mediator.
She and her brother Richard, who pre-deceased her in 1965 at the age of 44, were both talented musicians and Helen continued to play the piano well into her 90’s, both at home and at retirement homes for the pleasure of the residents. Helen’s infectious optimism and love of flowers, family, and champagne infused every gathering with love and humor. She had a gift for making everyone feel special.
Helen was a 1944 graduate of the Wilson Teacher’s College in Washington, D.C. After raising five children, she served as Admissions Director for Temple Business School of Maryland for many years before retiring in 1986.
She is survived by her five children and their spouses: Nancy Swindler Sprague and her husband Earl of Centennial, CO; John Swindler of Norwalk, CT; Edward Swindler and his wife Barbara of Norwalk, CT; Robert Swindler of Manassas, VA; and Marjorie Swindler Rose and her husband James of Atlanta, MI. Though predeceased by her grandson Jeffrey Sprague, she is survived by six other grandchildren: Stephen and Matthew Sprague, Katherine and Matthew Swindler, and Megan and Jamie Rose; as well as two great grandchildren, Wolfe Howe and Ava Summers of Portland, OR.
Her family will receive friends on March 15th from 4:00 to 7:00PM at the Magner funeral Home, 12 Mott Avenue, Norwalk, CT.
A funeral mass will be celebrated at St. Jerome Catholic Church in Norwalk, CT, 23 Half Mile Rd, Norwalk, CT 06851, on March 22, 2018 at 10:00AM.
Mrs. Swindler will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, D. C. beside her husband Leland, and near Leland’s father, Brig. General Leland S. Swindler, UMSC.
Memorial donations may be made to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research in honor of Helen’s son John.
There's still time to send flowers to the Funeral Mass at the St. Jerome Church at 10:00 AM on March 22, 2018.
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