HALLOWELL – Thelma C. Swain passed away Saturday, April 19, 2008, at MaineGeneral Medical Center, after a long, fulfilling life. Mrs. Swain was born Nov. 22, 1908, in Chelsea, the only child of Stephen R. and Bessie (Kirkwood) Cowey. In her youth, Mrs. Swain lived and was educated in Walpole, N.H., Norfolk, Va., Nashua, N.H., and York Harbor, where her father worked as head gardener on various estates. She graduated valedictorian of her class from York High School in 1927 and with a Bachelor of Arts from Tufts University in 1931. She was employed for several years by Public Service Co., of New Hampshire, Nashua, N.H., as a service representative, showing people how to use their new electric refrigerators and stoves. She married Vernon T. Swain in 1938 and they were married for 55 years. The couple lived in Waterville before moving to Augusta in 1949. When Mr. Swain set up his own consulting electrical engineering business in their home on Sewall Street, Thelma worked by his side at the drafting tables. She also co-owned the Cushnoc antique shop with Mrs. Bob Wells at one time. After her husband’s death in 1993, Mrs. Swain devoted herself to several not-for-profit organizations in which she was deeply interested. She loved the Maine State Museum and its’ staff and was proud of her weekly volunteer job there. She supported the growth of the Gulf of Maine Institute, Portland and Pine Tree State Arboretum, Augusta. She was an honorary “grandmother” to the young women at Maine Children’s Home for Little Wanderers and set up a fund to help those going on for post-secondary training. She admired and enthusiastically backed the camp programs of Pine Tree Society for Crippled Children and Adults. Mrs. Swain’s lifelong belief in the importance of education and her concern for the young people of Maine, led her to endow scholarships for Maine students at Middlebury College and Tufts, and her support of the Maine community technical colleges earned her a national Benefactor of the Year award in 2000. Above all, she was a staunch booster of the state of Maine and touted its’ merits to everyone she met. Mrs. Swain was beloved for her independent spirit and “bump of curiosity,” her love of travel and her sense of fun. She inspired many people and had friends of all ages. In the last eight years, she enjoyed the company of several like-minded women at Granite Hill Estates and continued to travel in the United States and abroad with her family. She is survived by her daughter, Virginia E. Swain; and son-in-law, Dr. Harry Beskind of Hanover, N.H.; and by her extended family, Mark Beskind, Janice Acton and their daughters, Jessica and Katelyn of Foster City, Calif., Dr. Daniel Beskind and his wife, Vicki, and their children, Hannah, Samuel and Julia, of Tucson, Ariz., and Mike and Rosemarie Beskind and their son, David, of Simsbury, Conn. A memorial service will be held 3 p.m. Thursday, May 1, at Knowlton and Hewins Funeral Home, One Church St., Augusta, with a gathering of family and friends after the service at Granite Hill Estates, 60 Balsam Drive, Hallowell. In lieu of flowers, donations in Mrs. Swain’s memory may be made to one of her favorite organizations. A private burial will be held at Mount Pleasant Cemetery, Augusta. www.khrfuneralhomes.com