In Memory

Mary Beckman (Swafford) - Class Of 1968

Mary Beckman (Swafford)

Gail Reed Reynolds ('68) shared condolences for the passing of fellow GGHS Argonaut Mary Beckman Swafford on October 25, 2016.   Please feel free to comment below. 

go to bottom 
  Post Comment

04/01/19 08:03 AM #1    

Stephen Jokela (1968)

Mary was in my Senior Civics Class. There is longer story there, for now, here is her obituary from October 2016.

Mary Swafford was born in Sioux City, Iowa. The family moved to California around 1953. Mary enjoyed her youth in Southern California and was one of the many who attended the opening of Disneyland in 1955. Mary went to St. Columban's Catholic School through 8th grade. When high school began at Garden Grove High School, Mary joined the Drill Team and was a member who performed at high school football game halftimes. When Mary turned 16 in 1967, her dad presented her with his 1961 Volkswagen. Mary had that red VW painted British Racing Green, and she also went through the engine and made it fresh with added horsepower. Mary was the only female member of the local VW club, and she served as secretary. At this time, Mary worked at Disneyland as a waitress at the Carnation Ice Cream store. Mary loved her time working at Disneyland. She was a perky waitress, who enjoyed serving the tourists from around the world.

After living in Garden Grove, and following high school graduation, Mary moved to San Francisco in the summer of 1968. Mary lived in the Haight-Ashbury section of the city, and she made her income from selling handmade necklaces. Mary moved to Laguna Beach, California for a short time before settling in 1975 in Santa Cruz. During the early years in Santa Cruz, Mary owned successful businesses, including an oriental rug and tapestry store on Pacific Avenue. Mary earned her Real Estate license a few years later, and was successful at that venture, too.


Mary met Blaine Swafford during those Real Estate years. They were married and started a family. Wes joined the family in 1980, and Rebecca came a few years later. Mary worked endless hours at the family store, the Grog Shop, and her brother Robert was a partner in that 25-year venture. Robert left the business in July, 2005, and Mary and Blaine continued to run the successful business. 


Mary is survived by her husband, Blaine of Santa Cruz, her son Wes Swafford and his wife Saralyse of Paradise, California, daughter Rebecca of Berkley, California, and by her grand daughters Rory & Rosie. She is also survived by her brother, Robert of Wichita, Kansas. 


Mary is preceded in death by her parents, Robert Beckman (1980) and Rose Beckman (2004).


A celebration of Mary's life will be held on Sunday, October 30, 2016 at 1:00 P.M. at Oakwood Memorial Chapel, 3301 Paul Sweet Road, Santa Cruz. A reception will immediately follow at Oakwood Chapel.

12/17/20 10:30 PM #2    

Barbara Sulzbach (Alexander, Benich) (1968)

I ran into Mary during her Haight-Ashbury era.  I was showing my little sister around San Francisco and Mary was selling her creations on the corner near Ghiradelli Square.  My sister bought either a necklace or bracelet and still has it, I think.  We were talking recently about that incident and wondering about Mary.  So sad to hear she's passed.

go to top 
  Post Comment