Harold Swan

Obituary of Harold Swan

Harold B. Swan

Brewer - Harold B. Swan, 93, passed away peacefully Jan. 14, 2018 after a brief illness.  Harold was born on Nov. 27, 1924 in Brewer, Maine and lived in the same residence, which his father, Reginald Swan built, for all of his 93 years.  He loved nature, gardening, and most of all, bees.  In 1946, after returning home from serving in WWII, he became a beekeeper and founded R.B. Swan & Son with his father.  His business grew through the 1970’s running up to 2,400 hives for pollination and honey production and was handed off to his son, Richard, in 1982.  Harold became the first commercial beekeeper in Maine and the first to rent bees for blueberry pollination. The name “Swan’s Honey” continues today under different ownership.   In Nov. of 2015 he was given the “Lifetime Achievement Award” by the Maine State Beekeeping Association  for his dedication to promoting beekeeping in Maine.  Harold is known as “the grandfather of beekeeping in Maine”.  His passion was to pass on his beekeeping experience to others. Many beekeepers were given free advice when they stopped at his home to buy their bee supplies. In 1951 he married Hilda Carver Swan and they worked together on the bees and enjoyed spending time together in the outdoors.

Harold was predeceased by his son, Richard Swan in 2016.  He is survived by his wife, Hilda, his daughter Ellen Swan Levesque and husband Jim, of Bowdoin, his son David Swan and wife Jane of Cumberland,  his son Stephen and wife Patti of Windham and his daughter-in-law Connie Swan of Bradley; 7 grandchildren and 3 great-grandchildren. Harold loved to tell stories and often related them to his faith in Jesus Christ and he was a member of Calvary Baptist Church in Brewer.  

The date and time for a celebration of Harold’s life will be announced at a later date.  In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Calvary Baptist Church, 61State St., Brewer.   Arrangements are trusted to Kiley & Foley Funeral Service, 69 State St., Brewer. Messages and memories may be share with his family at kileyandfoley.com.