TILTON, NH — Leslie William Swank, lovingly known as “Bill”, 95, of Salem, NH passed away on Friday, March 15, 2019 at the NH Veterans Home in Tilton, NH.
Born in Richmond, VA, Bill was the son of the late Leslie and Arleen Callis Swank. Bill grew up in Charlotte, NC and loved baseball. He was pitcher for the Charlotte Hornets, a minor-league baseball team. He joined the U.S. Marines at the start of WWII, serving in the Pacific Theater. He fought in the battles of Saipan and Tinian (Mariana Islands), Iwo Jima (Volcano Islands), and other strategic locations as a member of the artillery. Bill experienced many battles, was wounded twice and received a Purple Heart for his service.
After the war he realized he missed his opportunity for a career in baseball, so he attended art school at The National Academy of Art in Washington, D.C… He then worked as an illustrator for the Pentagon and the U.S. Navy. Ten years later he returned to his Alma mater as Director of the National Academy of Art.
After marrying and moving to the Salem area, he worked in the art department at AVCO in Wilmington, MA for 10 years. In the late 1960s, Bill started his own art school, teaching large classes of students in his art studio. As a professional artist, he created political cartoons for the Salem Observer and many other commercial art projects for over 35 years.
Bill was a member of the Greater Salem Art Association, since its inception and had earned much recognition for his local art. He is also legendary with local baseball players. He served as a pitching coach with the Salem Little League, American Legion, Babe Ruth, and the Salem Cardinals. He also coached at NH College in Manchester for 8 years. Bill was noted in the area for his so-called “Booger Ball” which all the kids wanted to learn to throw.
He is survived by his wife of 58 years; Nancy of Salem, his son; Steven Swank of Windham, and his daughters; Suzanne McEvoy and Sally Younker, both of Salem. He is also survived by his beloved grandchildren; Calvin and Rebecca McEvoy, Cameron and Alyssa McEvoy, Mia McEvoy, Robert Younker, Alexis Younker, Maxwell, Miles, and Miller Swank, by his great- grandson; Noah McEvoy, his sister-in-law; Patricia Hodgkins of Salem and a brother-in-law; John Hodgkins and his wife Beth of Maine.
Visiting hours will be held on Tuesday, March 19, 2019 from 4:00pm to 7:00pm in the Douglas & Johnson Funeral Home, 214 Main St., Salem NH. A military service will follow at 7pm. A memorial service will be held Wednesday March 20th 10:30am in North Salem United Methodist Church 389 No. Main St. North Salem, NH. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to Salem Youth Baseball, PO Box 1915 Salem, NH 03079.
(NOTE: The above obituary is from Douglas & Johnson Funeral Home.)
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