Jack Charles Swanson, a longtime Bainbridge Island resident and former editor of the Bainbridge Island Review, passed away on Jan. 12, 2017, at the age of 82.
He was born in Long Beach, Calif., on May 22, 1934.
Jack had a long and distinguished career as a writer and editor at a number of newspapers including the Arizona Republic, the Spokane Spokesman-Review, the Kitsap Sun, the Bainbridge Island Review, and the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, where he traveled the world as the P-I’s first Pacific Rim reporter. As a freelance journalist, he wrote for many national publications including Newsweek, Harper’s, The National Observer, Encyclopedia Americana and others.
After retiring from newspapers, Jack was commissioned by the Bainbridge Island Historical Society to write and produce “Picture Bainbridge: A Pictorial History of Bainbridge Island,” for which Jack received the 2003 David Douglas award from the Washington State Historical Society. Later, Jack worked with the Kitsap Historical Society on the revised third edition of “Kitsap County: A History.”
Jack spent much of his time taking road trips and enjoying nature, including off-roading through Canyonlands National Park, traveling to Yellowstone National Park, fishing, camping in the Olympic mountains, and driving down the Washington and Oregon coasts in his 1973 Volkswagen camper van. Jack was an avid reader and collector of books. He had a love for American history and literary classics.
Jack was known for his convivial personality, good humor, and ready laugh — qualities he retained throughout his battle with cancer. He is survived by his wife, Cecelia Goodnow, and their children Laura Swanson and Elliott Swanson; by his children Chuck Leonhardt, Patrick Leonhardt, Katie Fears, Neal Way and John Way; and by his sister, Bonnie Curcuro.
A reception celebrating Jack’s life will be held from 3 to 5 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 28, in the Campaign Room above Pegasus Coffee House, 131 Parfitt Way S.W., Bainbridge Island.