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Born: May 17, 1932

Date of Passing: Nov 07, 2020

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May 17, 1932 - November 7, 2020

Glenn passed away peacefully at the Vancouver home of his daughter, surrounded by family.
Glenn is survived by his wife of nearly 60 years, Jean (Armstrong), as well as his children, Bill Swift (Cathy) and Catherine Andrews (Keith); his grandchildren, Megan, Emily (Adam) and Bridget Swift; and Diana Andrews; his brother Jim Swift (Alba); his sister-in-law Iris Armstrong (Keith); nieces, nephews and other extended family. He was predeceased by his parents, William and Mary Swift, as well as his sister Marilyn Maslyk and her husband Raymond.
Glenn was born in Athabasca, Alberta, and grew up in Edmonton. Most of his adult life was spent in Winnipeg before moving to British Columbia's Lower Mainland in 2013.
Glenn held a BSc (Gold Medalist in Electrical Engineering). He spent two years in Britain as an Athlone Fellow at Metropolitan Vickers in Manchester and London. Upon his return to Canada, Glenn spent two years with Canadian Westinghouse before returning to pursue MSc from the University of Alberta. He became a Professional Engineer in 1958 and joined the staff of the University of Manitoba in 1960. In the mid 1960s Glenn received his PhD from the Illinois Institute of Technology.
During his time at the University, he was selected as "best professor" five times by graduating classes and twice received Awards of Excellence for his teaching. He was always a strong advocate for increasing the number of female engineers, as well as for proficiency in technical writing. He retired from the University in 1996 as a Professor Emeritus.
Professionally, Glenn was renowned for his research and work with industry, presenting papers world-wide, and his activity with the IEEE. One of his crowning achievements lay in working with a graduate student and industry to take a research project and turn it into an industry standard for a transmission line protective relay system. He received a Merit Award from the Association of Professional Engineers of the Province of Manitoba," in recognition of his outstanding career as a scholar and educator".
Personally, Glenn was known for his kindness, wit and humour, as well as his love of language. His grandchildren especially remember his creativity in the workshop and being permitted to "help" him in his endeavours; they have many enduring examples of his work. He also had a lifelong love of music and was proud of his time with the Winnipeg Pops Orchestra, both as a performer (trumpet) and as President.
As per Glenn's wishes, cremation has taken place. Donations can be made to the charity of your choice.

As published in Winnipeg Free Press on Nov 21, 2020

Condolences & Memories (7 entries)

  • Dear Jean and family, I am so very sorry for your loss. As I studied and worked at the University of Manitoba over many years during the time that Glenn was teaching we would on occasion bump into each other. Even though I knew he must have been very busy he would often stop to say hello. Also, as I was growing up I remember Glenn and Jean being a constant presence at extended family celebrations. Jean, our grandmothers, Alice and Effie were sisters. Sincerely, Suzanne Grierson - Winnipeg. - Posted by: Suzanne Grierson (Cousin) on: Nov 23, 2020

  • I had Professor Swift while I was in Electrical Engineering in the early 1980's at U of M. He was a great professor with a dry sense of humor as I remember. Always clear and concise. I met his daughter Cathy at a Night Club on Pembina Hwy in the mid 1980's. She was nice and kinda cute we well. Glenn taught many thousands of Engineering students and assisted them in graduating and on their way for a successful life. He will be missed. God Bless. Michael J Mark, BSc EE - Posted by: Michael Mark (U of M Engineering student) on: Nov 22, 2020

  • My condolences to Jean, Cathy and Bill on the loss of Glen. Jean and Glen and family lived across the street from us in Winnipeg and were great neighbours. Glen was a very nice, kind and gentle man who will be missed by his family. - Posted by: Sue Heim (Friend and neighbour) on: Nov 21, 2020

  • I remember Glen from the years that we were both members of the Pops. He was a soft-spoken kind gentleman who was loved by all members. We knew of his work as an engineer and admired him for it. He was a major contributor as President, Vice-President and regular board member of the orchestra over the years. Unfortunately, he started having problems with his lip and had to retire. I also remember his wife Jean. She was a regular at orchestra functions. Gary - Posted by: Gary R Miles (Fellow member of the Winnipeg Pops) on: Nov 21, 2020

  • Glenn left the world a better place for what he did. I knew him through his activities in the IEEE, where his contributions were very much respected and appreciated. His lasting technical legacy for me was a spreadsheet program that he wrote that is published on the IEEE Power and Energy Power System Relaying and Control Committee website. The program is used by thousands of engineers world wide. His lasting personal memories for me were his friendliness to all, his gentle humour and the ability to see the good in difficult circumstances. I feel blessed to have known him. Sincere condolences to the family. - Posted by: Charles Henville (Profesisonal Colleague) on: Nov 21, 2020

  • To Jean and Family: I was so sorry to read of Glenn’s passing. He was a much trusted and admired colleague for many years. And a good friend who often gave me good advice. I will miss him. After you moved to the west coast, we kept up a comfortable exchange on matters from time-to-time that interested us – as we did when we were both in the EE Department. And, just before that move, we both served on UMRA’s Pension and Benefits Committee. I remember he raised the question at the committee on the lack of COLA increases, a matter that I am still pursuing with the University’s P & P Advisory Committee at meetings of which I have been invited as a “guest”. So far there has been essentially no progress; if there had been, I would have sent news to you. But my happiest memories ere the earlier days when we all made such exciting changes to the curriculum of the Department, changes which led the Department to what it is today. I am sure we all gave Jack McMath heart-burn and sleepless nights! He must certainly have lost some credits with the Dean at the time. I recall (because I followed it) Glenn’s observation on how to introduce a new topic (in class or elsewhere): Start with the simplest possible example and build from there. It works! - as I have found later in life in a great many situations. At a time like this, I can only wish all of you the hope that you will be able to soon focus on your memories of good times with Glenn, his highly productive career and his integrity and kindly, good-humored approach to life. I will miss him. Dick P.S. I liked the photograph. - Posted by: Richard A. Johnson (Friend and former colleague) on: Nov 21, 2020

  • Dr. Swift was a fantastic educator and a classy gentleman. He was skilled at teaching the practical aspects of engineering which as a student I always found most interesting. I recall him sharing a story about developing a simple but effective solution at Westinghouse to speed up relays that was referred to by his colleagues as the 'Swift Kick'. I am grateful for the opportunity to study under him and send my condolences to the family. - Posted by: Todd Buchholzer (Student ) on: Nov 21, 2020

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