Lise Swanson

PORTLAND – Lise Swanson passed away peacefully at her home in Portland, Maine on May 30, 2020, after a decades long battle with multiple sclerosis. She carried her burden with grace and dignity until the very end. She was 66 years old.She was born Lise Susan Heptig, the second of five children to Bernice and Lawrence Heptig, in Rockville Center, New York, on April 28, 1954.After attending Glen Rock High School and William Patterson University in New Jersey, Lise worked as a secretary and a private nanny. In the spring of 1980, she married Mark T. Swanson, started a family, and moved to Florida to begin their life’s adventure.In January of 1984, Mark’s career in geology brought him to the Geoscience Department at the University of Southern Maine, and the family, now four, moved to Portland. This was their home for the rest of her life. Two more children followed, and Lise continued her love for nurturing early childhood development as a teacher’s aide and classroom volunteer. For Lise, this work complimented her lifelong vocation to motherhood and her commitment to building a family homelife without equal. She created a rich world for her four children and everyone around her, and the world was better for what she made of it.A passionate woman with a vibrant sense of humor, she enjoyed visiting local beaches, parks, and farmer’s markets, leading craft projects, cooking with her family, and travel – especially to Caribbean beaches where she could enjoy the sun. In more recent years, as she cheered for the Boston Celtics, she enjoyed reminding friends and family of her time spent on the basketball court as a young woman. She always found time to laugh, tease, and play, and she loved hosting family gatherings full of homemade food, lobster, and music at her longtime Portland home. With a spirit unforgettable to all who crossed her path, Lise possessed an uncanny ability to instantly turn strangers into friends. The determination, positive outlook, and effortless wit with which she carried herself and her loved ones through times both joyous and bleak brought meaning and solace to so many people. Lise leaves behind her devoted husband of 40 years, Mark Swanson, beloved companion, caretaker, and friend. She leaves her four children, daughter Emily Wilson and her husband Gregory, son Joseph and his wife Mercedes, daughter Amanda Weston and her husband Adam, and son Matthew Swanson. She also leaves her eight treasured grandchildren Greta, Ava, Finnegan, Declan, Iona, and Cormac Swanson, James and Loretta Weston, her loving brothers Chip, Richard, and Joseph Heptig, sister Mary Auger, their spouses, and many other beloved family members. Her husband and children would like to thank the dedicated staff at Hospice of Southern Maine for their care and support during Lise’s final months. A memorial service to celebrate Lise’s life will be held later this summer. Please visit to view Lise’s tribute page or to sign her online guestbook.

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