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Swift uses his hands and warm heart for others

In his simple apartment, Richard Swift has a magazine holder and a TV entertainment cabinet. He made them both, the cabinet in 1999 and the magazine holder in the 1940s.
There are also a handful of other wooden items Smith has made with his own two hands. He has made small stepstools and extension cord spools. They may not be as detailed or attractive as the entertainment center or magazine holder, but they are every bit as meaningful.
At 94, Swift will give the stepstools and spools away to someone who can make good use of them. He enjoys making things from wood with his two hands. His big heart allows Swift to give them away as gifts. The Glencoe-based World Nice Organization honored him earlier this month at the Glencoe Wood Working Club meeting in the lower level of Glencoe City Center.
The World Nice organization not only presented Swift with a gift certificate for wood products so he could continue making practical and valuable gifts for others, but club members also celebrated Swift’s 94th birthday Nov. 5 with cake and ice cream. Swift’s son, Dave and daughter-in-law, Celine, stopped by the meeting from their home in Biscay to celebrate with Richard.
Richard Corrick, the woodworking club’s president, encouraged all the club’s members to be at the meeting to honor Swift. Corrick’s college roommate, club member Mike Dennis, made the trip from Burnsville to Glencoe to honor Swift. Dennis brought his wife, Becky, to meet Swift.
Swift said the recognition was unnecessary. He would have been happy with cake and ice cream and a song. The leaders of the woodworking club nominated him for the award.
“It was much too elegant. I would have been happy with ‘Happy Birthday to You’ and let’s get on with it,” he said. “For 94 years, I’ve lived without a lot of attention. It was very nice, but unnecessary. It was nice.”
Swift enjoys doing little things for people to improve the lives people have. He likes making things. He takes pleasure doing little things for other people, even though he’s at a point in life where others might want to do something for him.

(For the complete story, see the Nov. 28 print edition of The Chronicle.)