John A. Swensen

07/17/2012 3:35 PM |

John A. Swensen died July 12 at San Simeon by the Sound Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation in Greenport. He was 87.

John A. Swensen

Born Feb. 28, 1925, in New York to Margaret (Van Wart) and Carl Swensen, he attended Midwood High School in Brooklyn and enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1943 at the age of 17. He served four years and saw action in Normandy, Okinawa and Iwo Jima as a seaman aboard the battleship USS Texas.

Mr. Swensen joined First National City Bank in 1947 as a messenger and became a teller, loan officer and then administrator at the bank’s Wall Street office, handling large accounts such as Seagram’s. He was assistant vice president at Citibank for 27 years and received its Quarter Century Achievement award. He lived in Ridge for 25 years.

He interrupted his banking career to join Mother of the Savior Seminary in Blackwood, N.J., run by the Salvatorian Fathers, but when his father suffered a heart attack he returned home to support his mother and three young brothers. He always hoped to return to religious life as a brother but was unable to because of his commitment to family, they said. He was a Eucharistic minister in Saint Anthony’s parish until failing health forced him to retire.

Family members said he enjoyed numismatics and etymology. He was well-liked by the staff at San Simeon, where he occupied the reception desk at the west wing nurse’s station, they said.

Mr. Swensen is survived by his brothers, Charles, Edward and Warren, and many nieces and nephews.

Visiting hours took place July 16 at Horton-Mathie Funeral Home in Greenport. A service was held July 17 at St. Agnes R.C. Church in Greenport, followed by interment at Calverton National Cemetery.

Memorial donations may be made to San Simeon by the Sound Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation, P.O. Box 2122, Greenport, NY 11944.