Gardening 12

Elizabeth Frances "Betty" Swift

September 19, 1930 ~ January 10, 2021 (age 90)


Elizabeth Frances (Betty) Swift

HAMILTON-Elizabeth Frances (Betty) Swift, 90, died peacefully on January 10th at The Remington at Sapphire Lutheran Homes in Hamilton. Born on September 19, 1930, the sole child of George Christian and Frances Ritter Maentz in Allegan, Michigan, she grew up in Kalamazoo, prior to attending Michigan State University where she met the love of her life, Bernie Swift.  Married on June 7, 1952 (until his passing in December 2006), the newlyweds traveled west to pursue Bernie’s career with the Forest Service.  Betty taught elementary school for several years in Pierce, Idaho.  The couple moved numerous times living in Darby and Hamilton, Montana; Colville, Washington; Cottonwood, Idaho; and Missoula prior to settling on their small farm south of Hamilton in 1972.  Betty loved the outdoors enjoying fishing, camping, hunting Native American artifacts and collecting relics from ghost towns in Idaho and Montana.  She was an artist who painted and worked with stained glass as well as making various whimsical creatures of fabric and natural materials.  She was politically active in the local Republican Central Committee and supported Bernie in his campaigns and service as a State Representative and State Senator for Hamilton and Ravalli County.  She and Bernie danced for many years in the Boots and Calico Square Dance club and also danced in Arizona where they wintered for many years in their motor home. Betty enjoyed serving as a tour guide at the Daly Mansion, participated in the Bitterroot Arts Guild and Hamilton Garden Club and supported other charities and volunteer organizations.  Betty attended the Faith Lutheran Church in Hamilton until her Parkinson’s disease limited her mobility.  Betty is survived by her son, Robert D. Swift (Jerri) of Hamilton, and daughter Anita F. Kudrna (Doug) of Billings, along with nine grandchildren and 21 great grandchildren.  The family deeply appreciates the loving service by The Remington staff and the many years of selfless service of neighbors and friends while Betty lived alone on “the farm”.  No memorial services will be held at this time but a celebration of life is planned in the late spring.  Condolences may be left for the family at 

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