Marie T. “Terry” Swift, the former longtime bookkeeper for Dawn’s Office Supply, died Saturday from complications of dementia at Master’s Haven Assisted Living in Finksburg. The Rodgers Forge resident was 89.
The former Marie Teresa Kilduff, the daughter of Eugene Kilduff, a blacksmith, and his wife, Margaret Kilduff, a homemaker, who was one of 10 children, was born and raised in Abingdon.
After graduating from St. Stephen’s High School, she worked for a small Baltimore insurance company and then took a job in 1947 as a bookkeeper for the Enoch Pratt Free Library at its headquarters on Cathedral Street, where she worked for a decade until the birth of her first child.
Mrs. Swift dreamed of earning a college degree and enrolled in the early 1950s in evening classes at what is now Loyola University Maryland, where she met and fell in love with a fellow student, John B. Swift, whom she married in 1956.
The couple lived in Northwood and later moved to a home on Stevenson Lane in Rodgers Forge. When her youngest child was in school, Mrs. Swift in 1974 took a job as a part-time and later full-time bookkeeper at Dawn’s Office Supply on North Charles Street in Charles Village, and continued working there until retiring in 2014, family members said.
When living in Northwood, Mrs. Swift was a communicant of St. Matthew Roman Catholic Church, where she was a volunteer in the parish school. She later became a parishioner of Immaculate Conception Roman Catholic Church in Towson and the Roman Catholic Shrine of the Sacred Heart in Mount Washington.
Mrs. Swift enjoyed caring for her four children.
“She made sure they were always well-fed (her eldest daughter carries on the tradition with the mashed potatoes and green bean casserole), well-dressed (neatly ironed Catholic school uniforms and daily-polished saddle shoes), and most of all, well-loved,” according to a biographical profile compiled by her family.
After her husband, who taught history at the Polytechnic Institute, died in 1991, she moved to Parliament Court in Rodgers Forge.
Mrs. Swift never had time for hobbies, said a daughter, Kathleen Harmon, of Westminster. She said her mother "enjoyed attending her grandchildren’s activities.”
A Mass of Christian burial will be offered at 10 a.m. Wednesdayat the Roman Catholic Shrine of the Sacred Heart, 1701 Regent Road, Mount Washington.
In addition to her daughter, she is survived by two sons, Jay Swift of Franklin, Tennessee, and Larry Swift of Clarendon, Virginia; another daughter, Judith Cash of Williamsburg, Virginia; four grandchildren; and a great-grandson.