A Renaissance woman, Gwen Chenoweth Swaney, 87, was an avid antique collector and outstanding high school French and English teacher. She passed away suddenly at her home Monday, September 11, 2017. A 1947 honor graduate of the Winchester Thurston School, she enjoyed singing, playing tennis, gardening and frequenting the many antique shops in the Pittsburgh area where her passion involved collecting antique dolls, Meissen porcelain and Scalp Level paintings, among other collectibles. She majored in French and English at the University of Pittsburgh where she met her late husband, Lester L. Swaney, a decorated World War II U.S. Marine aviator and founder of the University of Pittsburgh Ski Club. In more than two decades of teaching, Gwen Swaney taught French and English at East Washington High School where her students dedicated the 1962 yearbook to their beloved teacher. She also taught French at Winchester Thurston before moving to head the Gifted Program at Churchill Area High School which later evolved into the Woodland Hills School District. She also tutored students with critical long-term illnesses at their homes. She had been a member of the 20th Century Club, the University Club and the PAA. She authored a book about antique dolls using haiku to describe her massive collection. She was also an excellent chess player beating some opponents in less than five moves. And with her highly trained soprano singing voice, she was a frequent soloist at the West Alexander Presbyterian Church and many Republican Party fundraisers. She was preceded in death by her husband, Lester L. Swaney; and her parents, Rosten and Blanche Holmes Chenoweth. She is survived by a daughter, Christine Spring Swaney, of Pittsburgh and a son, Timothy C. Swaney (Dina Kay), of Maryland. A memorial service will be held in the Old Chapel at Homewood Cemetery on Thursday at 2 p.m. Arrangements by MCCABE BROS., INC.
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PostedSeptember 12, 2017