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Russell C. Swain, appraiser, bass in several choral groups Aug. 27, 1925 -- April 13, 2007

A property appraiser by profession, Russell C. Swain of Buffalo perhaps was better known for his passion for music.

He died Friday in Millard Fillmore Hospital. He was 81.

A memorial service for Mr. Swain, who sang bass with several choral groups, will be at 4 p.m. May 24 in St. John's-Grace Episcopal Church, 51 Colonial Circle.

Born in Buffalo, he was a graduate of Bennett High School and earned a bachelor's degree in psychology from the University of Buffalo.

A veteran of World War II, he served as a radar specialist with the Naval Air Corps in Saipan.

Mr. Swain retired in the early 1980s after working 25 years as an appraiser for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. His work included assessing damage caused by Hurricane Agnes in 1972.

His interest in music spanned several decades.

Mr. Swain sang for more than 35 years with the Buffalo Schola Cantorum -- now known as the Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus -- from the 1960s to the 1990s. He also sang with the Angelus Choir, performing on its Sunday radio show; the Choral Arts Society; and the Niagara Lutheran Chorale.

He loved playing the piano and composed more than 30 songs. In 1975, "Thy Giantkeepers," a musical Mr. Swain had written for the Canadian Mime Theatre, had a three-month run in the Royal George Theatre in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont.

Mr. Swain also was a volunteer for the Crippled Children's Guild.

Survivors include his longtime companion, Claudia Walsh; two daughters, Kristen Guerra and Kim; two sons, Shawn Walsh and Rusty; two sisters, Carolyn Schilling and Marcia Sparrowgrove; and a brother, David.


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