Margaret Coman ‘Mardi’ Swain


Margaret “Mardi” Coman Swain, 91, died Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2018, at her home on Less Traveled Road in Nashville. Mardi was born Sept. 3, 1926, in Hornell, NY, to the late Alfred P. and Margaret (Hutchinson) Coman.

Preceding her in death were her husband of 67 years, George Henry Swain; brother, Charles Coman; sisters, Evelyn Weber, Laura Gray and Betty Shannon; son-in-law, Robert Neely; and grandson, Luke Neely.

She is survived by five daughters, Christanne Traxler (Gene), Davida Kean (David), Lesilyn Neely, Sylvia Shroyer (Steve) and Gwenyth Swain (Vince Dolan); nine grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

As a junior-high student in Syracuse, NY, Mardi purchased her first 78 rpm record, “Can’t get Indiana off my Mind,” which proved to be prophetic. While attending Elmira College she met Henry Swain of Pendleton, Indiana. They were married in the French Azilum PA Methodist Church in 1946. Her father, the Rev. Dr. Alfred Coman, married the couple in a ceremony combining Methodist and Quaker elements.

The couple bought 40 acres of Brown County land for $600. They lived in a tent for about a year before finishing their one-bedroom house. Benefiting from this experience, Henry became a home builder while Mardi raised their growing family on Wallow Hollow Road.

Mardi was always involved in community affairs. She was a board member of the 12-county Tulip Trace Council of Girl Scouts for several years and served a term as president. She was a longtime member of the Brown County Association for Retarded Citizens and the Brown County League of Women Voters. She served several years on the Brown County library board of trustees and a term as president. She considered her most notable achievement being mother to five daughters. Her husband claimed the happiest he ever saw her was after the birth of each of their daughters.

The Rev. Mary Cartwright will conduct a memorial service at 11 a.m. Saturday, March 17 at Nashville United Methodist Church, 36 S. Jefferson St. in Nashville.

Memorial contributions may be sent in honor of Mardi to the Mardi and Hank Swain Library Fund, Brown County Community Foundation, P.O. Box 191, Nashville, IN 47448.