Frederick L. Swetland Jr. of Yellow Springs died at his home, Hawk Hill
Farm, on Friday, May 23. He was 89.
Born October 29, 1913, in Cleveland, he was the son of Frederick L. and
Pauline (Wightman) Swetland.
Fred went to the Hawken School in Cleveland, and graduated from Williams
College in 1935 with honors in English. He had three stints as a teacher.
He taught at Lakeside School in Seattle for two years, ran the American
school on the Isle of Pines, Cuba, and taught Spanish at Mercersberg Academy
in Pennsylvania. He was a first-rate teacher and enjoyed teaching, but a
desk life was too circumscribed for his many talents.
He was an outdoorsman and an athlete. He wrestled and ran cross-country
at Williams, played tennis into his 80s, and had a horse from the time he
was a small boy until his last years. He sailed most of his life and believed
it was not worthwhile unless he was racing.
He was drafted in the summer of 1942, a buck private in the infantry. He
went to Officers Candidate School, served at Wright-Patterson Air Force
Base from 1943 to 1946 and lived in Yellow Springs.
Fred’s life was segmented, and most important for him was the time
he spent on the Isle of Pines. He first traveled there to the family’s
10,000-acre tract as a baby, returning during the winter throughout his
childhood. He settled there in 1938, with time out for the war, and returned
back in 1946. He left in 1947 when his wife, Anita, was diagnosed with MS,
although he returned during the winter and part of the summers from 1950
In 1952, he bought out his brothers’ interest. He tried to operate
the farm in Cuba part-time and still run the farm he owned outside Yellow
Springs, but in 1957, he sold everything except his house and land and moved
his wife, two young sons, three trucks, a tractor, dog, cat, horse and parakeet
to the island. During his tenure there, Fred raised citrus and experimented
with sea island cotton, managed the indigenous pine growth, built a sawmill
from antique engines and parts and built up a herd of cattle.
Fred was a mechanic, plumber, vet, carpenter, and jack of all trades. The
Swetlands also operated a guest ranch. Even though there was no electricity
or telephone, the guests never complained. The biggest disappointment of
Fred’s life was the loss of that way of life — its pleasures,
demands, and constant challenges — in 1961. It clouded the rest of
He was undaunted about putting his hand to new and different occupations.
He worked at Leland Electric in Dayton following his discharge from the
service. He operated a sawmill in Nicaragua for his brother, Paul, from
1963 to ’64, ran an International Harvester dealership and, for a
brief time, owned an antique shop on Xenia Avenue in Yellow Springs. Fred,
however, considered himself foremost a farmer.
He farmed the acreage he owned outside Yellow Springs from 1947 to 1957,
returned in 1967, and spent the better part of his life there. He also owned
a farm in West Union, where he raised cattle for a number of years. He was
an environmentalist — the old-fashioned kind, who loves his land and
would do anything to improve it. He believed that people were not owners,
but stewards of the land. Early in his life, he was influenced by the farming
techniques of Louis Bromfield, including crop rotation and contour plowing.
As part of the Hereford Association, Fred advocated the eradication of dwarfism
by culling the cows, bulls and calves involved and slaughtering them all
(rather that just the calves) to clean up the herd.
Fred was a champion of the underdog and wrote letters to the editor on subjects
that others could not or would not write themselves. In his later years,
he called himself the Yellow Springs News “Correspondent from Mars.”
Fred enjoyed a lively political discussion about local issues and had a
soft spot for bluebirds.
He was preceded in death by his parents, his first wife, Natalie Penrose,
and a brother, Paul.
He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Anita (Fellner) Swetland; two sons
and daughters-in-law, Frederick L. III and Theresa, and Eli B. and Michelle,
all of Naples, Fla.; four grandchildren, Anastasia Swetland Wyckoff, Frederick
L. IV, Eli Jr., and Luke; and one brother, David W. of Alna, Maine.
Delight (Owen) Wilson of Chapel Hill, N.C., and formerly of Yellow Springs,
died after a short illness on Thursday, March 27, at Carol Woods Retirement
Community’s medical center, with her daughter, son and daughter-in-law
by her side. She was 89.
The daughter of Alice Rahm Owen and Willard Owen, Betty was born on March
6, 1914, at home on her parents’ large dairy farm outside New Lenox,
She graduated from Antioch College, along with her future husband, Everett
Keith Wilson, in 1938. They married shortly after graduation, moving to
Pine Mountain Settlement School in Harlan County, Ky., where Ev taught
for a while.
During World War II she lived in California and on her mother’s
farm in Illinois, along with her daughter Alice.
Shortly after the war, Betty, Ev and Alice moved back to Yellow Springs,
where Ev taught sociology at Antioch. Soon after returning to town, they
adopted a son, Duncan.
In 1966 she and her family moved to Ann Arbor, Mich. In the fall of 1968,
they moved to Chapel Hill, N.C., where Ev taught at the University of
North Carolina until his retirement.
Betty and Ev were life-long Antioch supporters, and Betty worked for the
alumni office in the 1950s with Helen Tordt.
Betty was especially known for her wonderful landscaping and gardening
accomplishments. She was always raising new varieties of flowers, including
rare ones and plants that were native to the area she was living in. While
in Chapel Hill, Betty became very active in the North Carolina Botanical
Garden Society and the Chapel Hill Rock Garden Club. People from all over
the state came to tour her rock garden during the spring and fall every
She also was known for her cooking accomplishments. Her house always smelled
of baking bread, pies and other baked goods, along with delicious meals
of European and American cuisine. She was a wonderful hostess, putting
on Sunday brunches, dinners and cocktail parties for friends, faculty
and graduate students who have never forgotten those wonderful times at
her and Ev’s house.
For 39 years she and Ev spent their summers at their cottage on the shores
of Lake Wolsey on Manitoulin Island in Canada. She always said that Lake
Wolsey was their Utopia.
Ev died on New Year’s Eve 1999.
She is survived by her daughter and son-in-law, Alice and David Duggan
of St. Paul, Minn.; son and daughter-in-law, Duncan and Debra Wilson of
Springfield; four grandchildren, Peter, Sara, Angela and Jackie, and Jackie’s
husband, Randy Potter; and two great grandchildren, Sierra and Mason.
A memorial service will be held on Sunday, June 8, 1 p.m., at her house
next to her rock garden in Chapel Hill, N.C.
She has requested that her ashes be spread, along with her husband’s,
on their property on Manitoulin Island.
Shirley A. Poole of Springfield died Wednesday, May 28, in the Ohio State
University Medical Center. She was 64.
She was born Aug. 22, 1938, in Xenia, the daughter of Ralph and Thelma
(Phillips) Smith. Mrs. Poole was an office manager at Monarch Dental.
She was preceded in death by her parents and daughter, Robin Windon.
She is survived by her husband, Arnold Poole of Springfield; two sons
and daughters-in-law, Fredrick and Kim Poole and Rhan and Diana Poole;
two daughters and sons-in-law, Roxanna and Brian Klingle Rhonda and Rick
Pencil, all of Springfield; son-in-law, Paul Windon; three brothers and
sisters-in-law, Ralph and Susie Smith of Xenia, Butch and Beverly Smith
of Xenia and Nick and Toni Smith of Beavercreek; two sisters and brothers-in-law,
Peggy and Roger Pitstick of Yellow Springs and Louise and Charlie Estep
of Kettering; 14 grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; and numerous
nieces and nephews.
Visitation will be held Friday, May 30, 2–4 p.m. and 6–8 p.m.,
in the Richards, Raff and Dunbar Memorial Home. The funeral service will
be held Saturday, May 31, at 10:30 a.m., in the memorial home, with Pastor
Tim Dotson officiating. Burial will follow in Rose Hill Burial Park.
Gloria Yevon (McKnight) Nash died on May 6 in her Los Angeles home after
a long illness. She was 73.
Yevon was born on Aug. 13, 1929, in Wilmington, the daughter of Harley
and Nancy (Robinson) McKnight.
She lived in Yellow Springs for a number of years before moving to California.
Yevon was a guiding light to her family and a true inspiration to everyone
She was preceded in death by her parents; stepmother, Irene McKnight;
and three sisters, Lillian Hart, Harleen Logan and Rose Mary Hamilton.
She is survived by her devoted husband, Albert, and loving daughters and
son-in-law, Paulette (Pettiford) Cameron, Karen (Pettiford) and Anthony
Charles, Patrica Pettiford and Terry (Childs) Ogbeiwi; seven grandchildren
and five great-grandchildren; a number of nieces and nephews; two aunts,
Thelma Mills and Reba King, both of Springfield; uncle, Paul McKnight
of Harveysburg; and one sister, Dorothy Williams of Yellow Springs.
Funeral services were held on Saturday, May 10, at St. John the Evangelist
Catholic Church in Los Angeles, with burial in Holy Cross Cemetery.