Roger G. Swinburn

  • Born: May 2, 1946
  • Died: December 22, 2019
  • Location: Swarthmore, Pennsylvania

Cavanagh Patterson Family Funeral Homes

43 E. Baltimore Ave
Media, PA 19063
Tel. (610) 566-3400

Tribute & Message From The Family

Roger G. Swinburn, age 73, died Sunday evening, December 22nd in the comfort of his home in Swarthmore, PA surrounded by his family and beloved golden retrievers.

Roger was born in London, England on May 2nd, 1946. Throughout his childhood, Roger was a tremendous rugby and cricket player, eventually playing at both the University of Sussex and the University of Oxford, as well as for The Harlequins out of Twickenham, England.

Shortly after graduation, Roger taught English and Mathematics from 1967-1969 in Barbados. He continued to play cricket and rugby while making lifelong friends there. He returned to London for a few years to start his career with Johnson Matthey, until he was transferred to Toronto, Canada in the early 70's. Living in High Park, Toronto, Roger met his wife, Cindy, where they started their family having three kids, Timothy, Katie, and Gregory.

In 1993, the Swinburn's moved to Swarthmore where Roger would eventually spend the rest of his life in the town that he loved so much. For the next 20+ years, Roger was an early morning frequent to the local garage sales, loved tending to his garden, and supporting his three children in all of their many sporting activities.

Roger retired at age 70 and spent his summers in Stone Harbor with some of his dearest friends and family. Roger had a smile that was contagious and a clever wit with words. He had the ability to spark a conversation with anyone and seemed to always be the one in the center of the group laughing hysterically.

He is survived by his beloved wife of 37 years, Cynthia Williams, and his three children, Timothy, Katie, and Gregory.

Please join us for a memorial service to celebrate the life of Roger G. Swinburn, on Saturday, January 11th, 2020 from 1-4 PM at The Springhaven Club, 600 South Providence Road, Wallingford, PA.


Condolence & Memory Journal

I worked with Roger for many years at JM and have been deeply saddened to hear of his passing. My thoughts go out to his family. Like many others I remember him as always having a story to tell and a big grin on his face. The picture on his obituary has captured this perfectly. I think I would have to describe him as a lovable rogue!!! We did a bit of wheeling and dealing for each other on both sides of the Atlantic to mutual benefit on exchange rates and market conditions etc. I caused a few raised eyebrows at the local supermarket when I loaded up 25 packets of Dark Kit-kat and Bisto gravy granules to keep Roger (and Cindy) going!! But my favorite Roger story has to be when we were in India and were taken to a very dodgy back street restaurant. Myself and Garry Tobiss were terrified to eat anything but Roger ordered prawns and crab!! When asked if this was wise Roger retorted "Where's your sense of adventure lads?". The next day when we were supposed to be flying home Roger had acute food poisoning and we had to leave him in India for several days for treatment!! Yes he certainly had a sense of adventure alright.
God bless you Roger, you were one of a kind. I shall miss you dearly.

Posted by Bob Dix - Royston, UK - Coworker   January 11, 2020

Roger Swinburn- Just the mention of his name conjures up to me many great memories of him.
He was truly a Legend in his own Lifetime"
We attended the same school Harrow County Grammar School for Boys. I did not know him there as there were 4 years difference in age and one dd not socialise with younger pupils !!! We first met as members of the Old Gayts - the schools old boys rugby club. Unfortunately we never played together but did watch him on several occasions and enjoyed numerous "pints" and laughs together
He was a true gentleman and had time for everybody. Very talented sportsman and the only Barbadian International rugby player I knew. His wicked sense of humour gave much fun and laughter to all those who came into contact with him.
Our sincere condolences go to Cindy & family at this sad time. Fortunately you do have much to celebrate about his life and we are sorry we cannot be with you today.
Syd & Janet Carter

Posted by Sydney Carter - Bognor Regis England - Friend   January 11, 2020

Cindy, Tim, Katie and Greg, WE ARE SO SORRY. Roger was the best. A Huestis family favorite. We all loved how he always seemed to have a smile on his face and a ready story or comment to share to make us smile as well. Tom and I both remember seeing Roger at one Will's (our youngest) lacrosse games; this was long after any Swinburn child was still playing. Roger had just come to watch. We so appreciated that kind of enthusiasm and love of sport. We also really appreciated - and admired - how much he loved all of you. He was a very proud and happy husband and father. We moved to Brooklyn, last spring, and are unable to attend the service/celebration, this weekend, but please know we are thinking of you all and wishing you much love, support and time together.

Posted by Tom and Vicky Huestis - Brooklyn, NY - Family Friend   January 09, 2020

Thinking of Roger and his family. Wonderful man and valued former colleague.

Posted by Ian Stephenson - Kingswood, surrey, uk - Coworker   January 07, 2020

I can't begin to tell you how devastated I was to hear about Roger's passing. Although I didn't know you particularly well socially, Cindy, I always admired you and we had some wonderful laughs together. And your husband told me where to find the best pieces of chicken on the under side, and always made me laugh. He was clearly larger than life. It's an astonishing loss. I'm so sorry we can't join you this Saturday but please know that you and your family are in our hearts and we grieve with you.

Posted by Andi Mitnick - Wallingford, PA - Friend   January 06, 2020

Cindy, I have posted a photo I took of Roger on his graduation day, outside the bar at Sussex University, laughing and smiling as always! Our friendship began there and then the Old Gaytonians Rugby Club and a visit to Toronto in 1972 and recently friends on Face Book! I am not often lost for words but always am at times like these. Happy memories, sending hugs to you and the family.
Carol Lashmar Spiteri
Sliema, Malta now, born in Harrow, Sussex Uni Brighton, Old Gayts, London!

Posted by Carol Lashmar Spiteri - Malta - Friend   January 06, 2020

Cindy, we were very sorry to hear the sad news of Roger. He was a great guy and a lot of fun. Colin remembers enjoyable times playing Rugby with him at the Old Gayts. I remember staying with you in Toronto when I was travelling. We were pleased to have spoken with him last year when you were staying with Pinfield. We are so sorry for your loss.

Posted by Rita and Colin Gregory - Hampshire UK - Friend   January 05, 2020

Unbelievable, we were built to last 100 years!

Posted by Tony Hart - Portsmouth, RI - Friend   January 05, 2020

We send condolences to Roger's family, from England. We worked together for a few years in the mid-1970s, for Johnson Matthey at Hatton Garden in London. They were very happy years, and we are planning a reunion in October 2020. We were able to invite Roger just a few short weeks ago, and he replied that he would attend if at all possible. As you can imagine, he was great fun to work with in those long ago days when we were all young. We shall certainly toast him at our meeting.

Posted by Ex- JM IT staff - London - Coworker   January 04, 2020

Cynthia, Tim, Katie and Greg, We are so saddened to learn of Roger's illness and passing. Sometimes there are no words, only shoulders to lean on, hands to hold and hugs to comfort. I offer all of these to you at this time. Roger was a man of great stature, bigger than life and that is how he lived his life. I'll always remember his generosity and how he always cared for his children and all of their friends. With his razor-sharp wit, laughter was always quick to come. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Swinburn family at this difficult time. May Roger's memory live on through his beloved family. RIP Roger.

Posted by Denise Riley - Wallingford, PA - Family Friend   January 04, 2020

I was very sorry to hear of his passing. May your family's memories keep his spirit alive and help you through this sad time...with sincere condolences, Tracy Milne & Family, Ridgeville, Ontario.

Posted by Tracy Milne - Ridgeville - Family   January 03, 2020


I met Roger during our first month at Sussex Unversity, naturally at a Rugby Club meeting. I had the good fortune to play in the front row with him during our three years in Brighton. Our paths crossed again in Toronto when my family moved back to that great city. While we had lost touch during the last 30 years, I have very fond memories of the good times with Roger in Brighton and Toronto. The world has lost wonderful and caring individual, loud at times (perhaps too often) but someone I consider a true gentleman and friend

Posted by Peter Reid - Dallas, TX - Friend   January 03, 2020

Roger definitely was one of the good ones.. . He was in our wedding celebration. Everyone knew how great he was with people. He definitely was the best of the bunch. Cindy we are so sorry for your loss.

Posted by Joan@uncle Allin - Canada   January 03, 2020

I am very saddened! It was my pleasure to have worked with Roger at Johnson Matthey, West Deptford, NJ! He was such an inspiration! My sincere condolences to the family!

Posted by Marilyn Anderson - Mullica Hill, NJ - Coworker   January 03, 2020

I had the pleasure of working with Roger at Johnson Matthey. It was my first job and he was extremely supportive to a novice. I have happy memories of playing football and squash with him, as well as many enjoyable nights in the Mitre pub.
Unfortunately, we lost touch when I left Johnson Matthey and only made contact in October of last year for a very brief exchange of greetings.

Posted by Steven James - Welling, London UK - Coworker   January 03, 2020

Family Album

Community Photos

Roger's Graduation Day Sussex University 1968 With Derek Mesure, Roger, Doug Keep and Robert Birke