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 James Patrick Swift

James Patrick Swift

Des Moines, Polk County, Iowa, USA
Death 12 Feb 2017 (aged 71)
Burial Grand Junction, Mesa County, Colorado, USA
Plot 6-N-10
Memorial ID 176334885 · View Source
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James Patrick Swift, well-known Grand Junction Border Collie handler and trainer, died of lung cancer on February 12, 2017, at the age of 71.

He is survived by his wife, Lisa (Wendland); and daughter, Kelsey (Justin) Genter, of Denver.

James was born in Des Moines, Iowa, and was a graduate of Dowling High School. He earned his BS Degree in Business Management from the University of Iowa in 1968.

After graduation he served in the U.S. Marine Corps in Vietnam as an infantry platoon commander. He was a medically-retired 1st Lieutenant of the U.S. Marine Corps.

After military service he moved to Vail, where he learned to ski, became a ski instructor, ranch hand, calf roper, bartender, and restauranteur. He opened the stunningly successful Aurelio’s in 1986. His forte was business management, including land development, restaurants, and propane gas utilities over a 30-year span.

His lifelong passion was training and breeding sheep dogs, beginning in 1986 with Jim, a Border Collie. His initial Border trial win took place in September 1990. He went on to many other wins and placings, especially with favorite sheep dogs, Dan and Zac. Along the way he served on the Board of Directors of the U.S. Borders Collie Handlers Association for 14 years, serving four as Vice President. He then served six years on the Board of Directors of the American Border Collie Association, two years as Vice President and two as President.

His parents, G. Gerald and Albena Swift, as well as his older brother, Thomas, preceded him in death.

He is survived by three sisters: Patricia Murrane (Michael deceased) and Kathie Swift, both of Des Moines, as well as Mary Neswold (Ted) of Naperville, IL; and many nephews and nieces and their children across the country.

Ever-faithful Border Collies, Molly and Jett, plus wire-haired Dachshund, Spike (who thinks he is a Border Collie), mourn his loss.

Please join us at the Veterans Memorial Cemetery of Western Colorado, 2830 Riverside Pkwy, Grand Junction, CO, 81501, for a Memorial Service on Friday, February 17, at 3:00 pm.

Memorial donations can be made to the Royce-Hurst Humane Society, Wreaths Across America, or HopeWest Hospice.

Family Members





  • Created by: Barb
  • Added: 14 Feb 2017
  • Find A Grave Memorial 176334885
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for James Patrick Swift (28 May 1945–12 Feb 2017), Find A Grave Memorial no. 176334885, citing Veterans Memorial Cemetery of Western Colorado, Grand Junction, Mesa County, Colorado, USA ; Maintained by Barb (contributor 46936813) .