Janice May Swan, 87, of Lafayette Hill, a mother of six who made music her lifelong passion, died Sunday, Dec. 6, of aspiration pneumonia at the Hill at Whitemarsh.
Mrs. Swan embraced singing and playing the piano as a child growing up in Conshohocken. She graduated from Norristown High School in 1944 and later began a 30-year career as an operator with Bell Telephone in Norristown and Philadelphia.
Along with her husband, James S., Mrs. Swan was involved in theater groups such as the Whitemarsh Curtain Callers and the Dramateurs. She was active in variety shows at her parish, St. Philip Neri Roman Catholic Church in Lafayette Hill.
Her eldest daughter, Judith, an opera singer, died in 1997. Her husband died in 1992.
Mrs. Swan also spent many years as a piano teacher, tutoring children in the living room of her Lafayette Hill home well into her 80s.
For years, she entertained the senior citizens with her piano playing at St. Joseph Villa in Flourtown and at Marshall Lee Towers in Conshohocken. She purchased an organ and donated it to Marshall Lee Towers.
In addition, she served as a volunteer, delivering Meals on Wheels to seniors at their homes in the area.
Mrs. Swan enjoyed playing piano and singing with fellow residents at Spring Mill Presbyterian Village in Lafayette Hill, where she lived for the last three years. The facility is on the site of the former Spring Mill Elementary School, which she attended for eight years as a child.
She spent many years as a member of the choir at her parish and also served as organist during Mass. She was a past president of the Phillippians social group and a former member of the Whitemarsh Lioness Club.
"She was always upbeat," said her son James J., an editor at The Inquirer. "She had some tough things happen in life, but she always had a smile on her face."
Besides her son, Mrs. Swan is survived by sons Thomas and John; daughters Beth Bontemps and Janice Dutton; 17 grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; and a brother.
A visitation starting at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 12, will be followed by an 11 a.m. Funeral Mass, both at St. Philip Neri Church, 437 Ridge Pike, Lafayette Hill. Burial is in Calvary Cemetery.
Donations may be made to the Lynch Homes, 216 Cedar Ave., Willow Grove, Pa. 19090.