Marshall Ernest Swab passed into the arms of his loving Saviour on November 10, 2021, at the age of 83. He is lovingly remembered by Marie (Kershaw), his beloved wife of 57 years; his children Kerstin Daly (Conan), Paul Swab, and Michael Swab (Vicky); grandsons Kieran and Christian Daly; his brother Rudy Swab; sister-in-law Elaine Kershaw, and many relatives in Alberta and BC. He was predeceased by his parents; sisters Amelia, Leona, Esther; and brother Gary.
Marshall was born in 1938 in Lamont, AB, the 5th of 6 children of Theodore and Louise Swab. The family owned a farm in Northern Valley before purchasing a sawmill at Lawrence Lake. When Marshall was seven, his father was tragically killed in a logging accident. He and his brothers and sisters were boarded to relatives for the school year so his mother could continue to operate the mill and provide for the family. This was particularly difficult on the young boy, and Marshall was happiest when they returned to the mill to spend summers with their mother. Marshall loved being in nature, and this fostered a life-long affinity for Alberta’s north country. As a teenager, he was a member of the Air Cadets, and this afforded him the opportunity to travel. Marshall liked the structure and the discipline of the cadets and later expressed some regret that he had not chosen a career in the military.
From the early fifties to the mid-eighties Marshall was a respected member of the seismic exploration sector of Alberta’s burgeoning oil and gas industry. He started out working on field exploration crews, quickly working his way up to party chief. Marshall was sent to Calgary to work in the head office of Seismotech. He displayed a keen aptitude for the processing and interpretation side of the business and became a geophysical interpreter. Marshall then met Marie, and they married in 1964. They raised three children, Kerstin, Paul, and Michael, together. Throughout the sixties and seventies, Marshall worked for a number of the seminal companies in Calgary’s seismic exploration industry, such as Seismotech, R.B. Cruz & Associates, and Veritas. He eventually started his own geophysical processing company, Micron Resources, with a partner in 1979, and later on his own with ME Swab Holdings. Much oil and several ancient fault lines were discovered in Alberta through his unique talent of recognizing signals in noisy data. He enjoyed success for a number of years until the crash of the oil and gas industry in the mid-eighties. While the industry struggled to recover, Marshall took different jobs, only periodically returning to the industry he loved. By the late nineties, Marshall was semi-retired, and his final job was as a parts driver for the Gear Centre. He really enjoyed the camaraderie with his co-workers, and happily worked there until his retirement in 2011.
Marshall was a private person and often spent time alone, but he also enjoyed his social and professional circles, and family road trips to visit his and Marie’s families. He was an active member of St. James Catholic Church and was an usher at Sunday mass for many years. During his oil and gas days, Marshall was a member of the Canadian Society of Exploration Geophysicists. In his spare time, Marshall liked to work on the house and yard, read, and listen to music. He enjoyed staying physically active, and would often take long walks around Calgary’s Glenmore Reservoir. He looked forward to his yearly trip to Invermere, BC with his wife Marie. Marshall was an extremely supportive father and husband who enriched the lives of his loved ones beyond measure. His gentle spirit and kind demeanor touched the hearts of countless individuals. He was a loving soul, who exhibited quiet intelligence and wisdom. His great, unshakable faith sustained him, as did his love for his family. Marshall cherished spending time with his two grandsons, Kieran and Christian, especially when they were little. Their intense intellectual curiosity and silliness helped keep him young at heart. He beamed with joy when he heard about all their accomplishments, and was intensely proud of the fine young men they have become.
The family wishes to thank the staff of the Mount Royal Care Centre for their compassionate care of Marshall for the past 5 years, and for the kindness shown to us all.
May he rest in peace. “Well done, good and faithful servant. . . enter thou into the joy of thy lord.” Matthew 25:23
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