Barbara Swain


This accomplished and beloved woman, who died last Sunday at North Hill in Needham, Massachusetts at the age of 102, grew up in Newton Highlands and attended Smith College, where she graduated in 1932. During summers at her family’s seasonal home in Scituate, she met and later married Philip Richardson, in 1933. Barbara gave birth to her daughter Gail a year later, and soon thereafter the family moved to Wellesley, where Barbara gave birth to a son Donald, named after Phil Richardson’s twin brother. The family remained there until the late 1960’s.

Barbara became active in volunteer and club work with the Junior Service League, League of Women Voters, Family Service Association, Wellesley Unitarian Church, and Wellesley Smith College Club. She annually attended Boston Symphony concerts, Theater Guild productions, was an active bridge player, and curled in winter months. Barbara was an avid golfer at the Wellesley Country Club with her husband Phil, who became president of the Club in the early 1960’s. Barbara and Phil were founding members of the Broomstones Curling Club, in Wayland, Mass.

Her husband Phil passed away in 1966. Several years later, in 1970, Barbara married Richard Swain and together they lived the following 25 years at Wellesley Green, and later moved nearby to North Hill in August of 1996. They wintered during this time on Siesta Key, in Sarasota, Florida. Dick passed away in late 1996.

Barbara is mother of Gail R. West with husband Jack, of Peabody, Mass, (formerly of Wayland), and Donald Richardson with wife Janet, of Plandome, NY; grandmother of Susan, Philip, and James West, and Kathryn Chigounis, Emily Tesio and Sarah Richardson; and great-grandmother of Gitalia and Carinna Dogan-West, and Joseph Tesio.

Funeral services were held Monday morning, Sept. 29, at Newton Cemetery Chapel, followed by inurnment in the Nichols family gravesite at the Cemetery, with her first husband Phil.

For more information and guestbook, please visit

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Elizabeth Johnson is former editor of Manhasset Press and Manhasset Press Magazine. Growing up in nearby Garden City and attending New York University, she is well-versed in the locale and knowledgeable about the beat she covers. Her community involvement is extensive and includes the Manhasset SCA, Kiwanis International, Manhasset Chamber of Commerce, St. Mary’s Church, and various civic and local charitable organizations. Curious by nature, her travels, community service, love of the arts as well as local sports give her the inside view to unique content. During her time at Anton, she has received several awards from the New York Press Association and the Press Club of LI, including the coveted "Best Community Newspaper" several years in a row.


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