In Memoriam – Brian Swander


In Memoriam – Brian Swander
An Artist Has Left
By Paul Forakis

Brian Swander slipped away in the cool morning hours on September 17, 2021. He was surrounded by loving, caring friends and his dog Oro, in his remarkable home that he built, with a print room, painting studio, bike restoration and wood shop. In his yard you walked on mosaics, some only partially exposed near fallen Roman columns. You were in Pompei. In the lair of his bike room filled with Raleighs, England seems close. Brian’s effect on our community runs deep. His knowledge of old world craftmanship made him uniquely qualified to work on restoring the McHenry Mansion. He was both old world and new, a true Renaissance Man. All of these attributes speak of his talent, but he was much more. The man was kind and stubborn, he was generous to young artists, musicians and those aspiring to greater heights; he held himself to a high moral standard. Brian helped us all as much as we helped him not because it is easy but rather it is the work we must do together. He so loved his friends that his space was our oasis to rest, talk, play music, enjoy food, play with Oro his dog and the place he could work in and create; and he did! He worked to make the community the place he wanted to live in and his friends were his garden. No matter where we lived, Brian tended us all in his own way.

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About the Author:

Chris Murphy is the President and CEO of Sierra Pacific Warehouse Group and Publisher and Founder of ModestoView Inc. Chris worked globally in the cycling industry returning to Modesto in 1996. He is also the founder of the Modesto Historic Graffiti Cruise Route, Legends of the Cruise Walk of Fame, Modesto Rockin’ Holiday, the Modesto Music History Organization and co-founder of the Modesto Area Music Association. Chris is married to his artist wife Rebecca since 1985 and has two daughters Madison and Abigail, both graduating from Modesto High and UC Berkeley. He is lead singer and guitarist for his band, Third Party that donates their performances to non-profits.