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Caroline Swalligan dies at 61; organized Blacklick Township's Sesquicentennial celebration in 2000

Twin Rocks native and resident Caroline Swalligan, who organized and chaired the Blacklick Township Sesquicentennial celebration in 2000, died Friday, April 5, at the UPMC Lee Regional Hospital, Johnstown, of heart problems related to lifelong diabetes. She was born September 22, 1940, to John and Mary (Balida) Swalligan, and was preceded in death by her father and an infant At closing of Blacklick Sewqui celebration.sister, Maryann. Her mother still lives in Twin Rocks.

A graduate of Madonna High School in Chicago, she was employed at Edmiston Tower, Inc., in Ebensburg, and also worked as a tax accountant and CCD teacher. In 1999, in response to a request for information on the planned sesquicentennial, she wrote:

"I was born and raised in Twin Rocks, went to Big Bend Elementary school and a portion of one year at Blacklick High School. My dad died when I was in the eighth grade and my Mom, brother, and myself moved to Chicago where I graduated from high school, Northwestern University, and continued to lived there until my mom got sick in 1973. I've been home ever since and love it. I'm proud to be a product of the Blacklick Township population and even though it's like living in a fish bowl sometimes, I wouldn't trade it for anything."

She was also a member of the Home Page email forum, where she occasionally shared inspirational pieces with the members.

Besides her mother, she is survived by a brother, John, who is married to the former Kathi Maier and resides in Johnstown, and nine nieces and nephews and numerous grand-nieces and -nephews.

Known to friends and family as "Snookie," a nickname given her by her father before he died when she was 13, she loved cooking and baking and, especially, everyone. She gave religious instruction classes at Sts. Timothy and Mark's Catholic Church in Twin Rocks, and was a lector and eucharistic minister at St. Andrew's Church near Benscreek, which she attended with her brother and his family.

Funeral mass was celebrated on April 8, with the Rev. Barry Baroni celebrating, at St. Andrew's Church. Interment was at St. Charles Cemetery, Twin Rocks. Donations to the St. Andrew's Church sanctuary renovation fund were requested in lieu of flowers.

PHOTO: The photo above was taken during the closing ceremonies for the Blacklick Township Sesquicentennial on July 30, 2000. For additional information and a summary of Caroline's remarks, click here.

 

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