Robert F. Swift, 81, founder of Triangle Equipment, died on Thursday, June 1, 2006, at the Haven Health Center at Seacoast.
He was born in Stafford, CT, Nov. 2, 1924, the son of the late Michael and Helen (Putek) Swift. He attended local schools.
Swift enlisted in the Army Air Force in 1942 and served during World War II as an aviator. His B-17 “Ain’t Misbehaven” was shot down in 1944 and was held prisoner of war in German and Poland prison camps until the war was over in April of 1945.
He was a recipient of the Purple Heart.
After returning home to Stafford in 1945, Swift founded his own construction equipment business, Triangle Equipment, which he operated for 50 years.
He also owned and operated Swift Auction Company, Navajo Company and Stafford Equipment and owned Swift Airport in Stafford.
Swift continued his love of flying and had several private planes, his last a King Air C-90 prop jet, which he flew only six hours before he suffered a stroke in September 1990.
His other hobby was auto racing. He won the first race at Waterford, CT, in April of 1951. He continued racing at Connecticut, Massachusetts and New York tracks for several years.
Swift was a former member of the Stafford Rotary Club, Knights of Columbus and served on the board of directors of the Connecticut Bank & Trust Company.
He resided in Hampton since 1997, coming from Stafford.
He was the husband of Patricia A. (Deskus) West.
In addition to his wife, he is survived by his children, Roberta Passardi of Willington, CT; Richard Swift of Stafford Springs, CT; Marlene Bohadik of Tolland, CT; and Diane West of Greenfield, MA; his brother, Donald Swift of Stafford Springs, CT; seven grandchildren and several great grandchildren.
A Mass of Christian burial was celebrated at Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal Church, 289 Lafayette Rd., Hampton, NH, Saturday, June 10, 2006.
Donations may be made to a charity of one’s choice.
Assistance with the arrangements was by the Remick & Gendron Funeral Home-Crematory, Hampton.