City Manager, 63

Michael Richard Swigart, born April 19, 1945, in Santa Barbara, died from respiratory failure at Desert Regional Medical Center in Palm Springs July 30, 2008. He was 63 years old.

In his 21 years of public service to the state of California, he served as community development director for the cities of Rio Vista, Carpinteria, Pismo Beach and Ridgecrest and as city manager for the cities of Parlier, La Puente and Twentynine Palms.

He was honored with numerous awards and commendations from the League of California Cities, the American Planning Association, the International City Management Association and from the individual cities that he served.

He believed the most important work in the cuntry was done at the city level and was an avid supporter of the community as a citizen and as a member of the Rotary Club.

Previous to his career in city government, he was a licensed contractor working in the United States as well as the Middle East and Africa. He was a world traveller and visited 54 countries over five continents during his lifetime.

Before receiving his master’s degree in public administration from Columbia Pacific University, he majored in English and philosophy at the University of California Santa Barbara, where he developed a lifelong love of the arts.

After his retirement in June 2006, he traveled throughout the western United States, Mexico and Central America and was able to devote time to writing poetry, photography and spending time with his family.

Mr. Swigart is survived by his wife of over 42 years, Sharon; sons Thane and Jarl; sister Anita; and brothers Patrick and Dennis.

Memorial services will be held at 11 a.m. Aug. 16 at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church at 6785 Sage Avenue in Twentynine Palms. There will be a lunch in the church hall following the service.

Donations may be made in Mr. Swigart’s name to the Art in Public Places Fund at City of Twentynine Palms, 6136 Adobe Road, Twentynine Palms, CA 92277.