John Marcus “Jack” Swedberg, Sr., 83, died October 12 from complications of cancer. He was in apparent good health until the afternoon of Monday, October 9, when he passed quickly into a coma and never regained consciousness. He leaves his wife of 54 years, Carol Lenoir (Price) Swedberg, seven children, 15 grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren, as well as his sister Jane Harbour of Ames, Iowa.
Jack was born November 30, 1922 in Minneapolis, MN to Marcus Royal (Roy) Swedberg and Eva Thompson Swedberg. He grew up in Minneapolis and St. Paul. As a boy Jack developed a life‑long interest in photography, as well as music, travel, language and world events. At the age of 16 he hitchhiked to the 1939 New York World’s Fair, after which he entered the Civilian Conservation Corps, and worked with a crew in the northern forests of Minnesota. When the US entered WWII he joined the Navy and served as a sonar operator on the PC 620 in both the Atlantic and Pacific theaters. After the war he earned a BA in history from the University of Minnesota, and then studied Russian at both Middlebury College and UC Berkley. He lived for a short time in New York City before moving to Washington DC, where he began a career as an intelligence analyst for the CIA. While in Washington, he met his future wife, Carol Price of Newton MA and Moultonborough NH. Jack was posted to Nicosia Cyprus in 1951, and Jack and Carol were married in Cyprus on October 30, 1952. Over the following years, the Swedbergs spent years in Cyprus, Frankfurt Germany, and Bethesda MD. Jack took early retirement in 1975, and the family moved to Moultonborough. He pursued a number of his interests, especially photography and travel. He became a media aid at Moultonborough Academy, where he ran the school darkroom, taught photography and Russian, became a school bus driver, and was often to be seen at school, town and church events. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Jack found opportunities to travel to Russia, eventually making 8 extended trips there. During much of 1999-2000 he taught English at the University of Novosibersk, and during other trips he worked with US based aid groups to help Russian orphans. The Swedbergs also hosted numerous Russian and German exchange students in their home, and Jack worked to facilitate travel and work opportunities for Russian students in America. During all these many years Jack made and maintained close friendships wherever he traveled, and had dozens of correspondents all over the world. He commented that he had enjoyed everything he ever did, and his family would like him to be remembered for the optimism, intelligence and kindness that continued to the very end of his life.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Moultonborough Public Library, 4 Holland Street, P.O. Box 150, Moultonborough NH 03254, (603) 476‑8895.