Cover photo for William James Swan's Obituary
William James Swan Profile Photo
1940 William Swan 2023

William James Swan

August 15, 1940 — December 7, 2023


William James Swan, 83, of Appleton, passed away unexpectedly on December 7, 2023. Bill was born on August 15, 1940, in Lowell, MA to William and Margaret Swan. Bill was married to the love of his life, Mary Quinta Swan for 60 years and together they raised 4 beautiful children.  

Bill enjoyed a long and successful career in the paper industry, which began in Maine in 1963.  Soon after, he and Mary relocated to Wisconsin where Bill served in various production and manufacturing leadership roles at both Thilmany Pulp and Paper Company (Kaukauna) and Fox River Paper Company (Appleton). 

Through an interesting turn of events, Bill relocated back to Massachusetts in the early 1990s.  During this time, he served as the mill manager for Fox River Paper’s historic location in Housatonic, MA.  He often recalled this post and location the favorite of his long career.

Those who worked with Bill knew him as both tough and fair. He earned the respect of his peers, employees and superiors through his hard work, logical approach and extreme attention to detail. He was happy to share much of his professional experience and wisdom with his children and he often spoke fondly about the relationships and friendships he gained during his career.

After his retirement, Bill enjoyed many happy and healthy years with Mary.  During this time, they enjoyed afternoon golf outings and many trips to South Carolina, North Carolina, Vermont, Texas, Washington D.C., Massachusetts, and Michigan to enjoy their children and grandchildren.

By far, Bill’s favorite interest was spending time with his beloved wife Mary.  Simply spending time together talking, laughing, remembering and loving each other was when he was most happy. Bill was a beloved husband, father, grandfather and brother.

Bill is preceded in death by his loving wife Mary and is survived by his children William J. (Debora) Swan Jr. of Hortonville, WI, Carol Swan of Menasha, Virginia Rabitoy of Austin, TX, and Maryellen (Kyle) Mantyla of Kingsport, TN, his grandchildren Emily Swan, Matthew Swan, Zaria Starfeldt, Emilia Rabitoy, Gwyneth Rabitoy, and his brother John C. (Barbara) Swan of Sarasota, FL. 

Visitation for William will occur at 2:00pm on Friday, December 15, 2023 at St. Thomas More Catholic Church, 1810 N McDonald St, Appleton, WI 54911 with a funeral mass to follow at 3:30pm with Father Jack Mullarkey officiating.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of William James Swan, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Friday, December 15, 2023

2:00 - 3:00 pm (Central time)

St. Thomas More Catholic Church

1810 N McDonald St, Appleton, WI 54911

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