Obituary: Timothy Swanson, 1975-2023 | Obituaries | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

Seven Days needs your support!

Obituary: Timothy Swanson, 1975-2023 

Talented musician’s greatest enjoyment as an adult was playing his violin

Published September 8, 2023 at 6:00 a.m. | Updated September 8, 2023 at 9:27 a.m.

click to enlarge Timothy Swanson - COURTESY
  • Courtesy
  • Timothy Swanson

Timothy Baker Swanson, 48, of South Burlington, took his own life on July 12, 2023, after many months of intolerable depression and anxiety, thoughtfully weighing his own need for peace with the sorrow that it would inflict upon his family and friends.

Tim was born in Minnesota on April 6, 1975, the son of Ernest Swanson and Hope Baker Carr. When he turned one, the family moved to Appleton, Wis., where his love of music became evident. He joined the Appleton Boy Choir and started Suzuki violin lessons. In 1985, his family moved to Mendon, Vt., where he attended Barstow Memorial School. Through various activities there and a great music program, he flourished and played violin solos at nearly every school assembly, bringing all the mothers to tears with his musicality. For several summers, he performed and sang with the Green Mountain Guild at Killington Playhouse in productions of The Sound of Music (playing Kurt, one of the seven Von Trapp children), The Music Man and Oliver.

Tim joined the Burlington-based Vermont Youth Orchestra in eighth grade and remained a member for five years. At Mill River Union High School, Tim played soccer, joined the ski team and performed in various dramatic productions and choral groups. He graduated in 1993. At the University of Vermont, Tim joined the college’s orchestra and continued his violin studies with Evelyn Read. He graduated from UVM in 2000 with a degree in Political Science and a minor in Sociology.

After college, Tim spent five years in New York City, at U.S. News and World Report and Global Home Loans and Finance. He returned to Burlington in 2006 and held different positions at RealPage and Allscripts, where he did computer software support and troubleshooting for customers. Eventually he founded VT Painting Company so that he could serve as owner/manager and painter until he was able to recruit others to work with him. Tim also pursued working with children (which he loved) at various points in his adult life, first as a substitute teacher, then a ski instructor for the weekend children’s program at Sugarbush Ski Area. After completing Suzuki teacher training, he also gave violin lessons to children of all ages for quite a few years.

Tim’s greatest and most consistent enjoyment as an adult was playing his violin. Early on, he made a decision to branch out from his classical music training to compose, improvise and play a variety of pieces, from folk and contemporary music to bluegrass and hip hop, and then to find a group to play with. He accompanied his childhood friend and guitarist, Sean Ryan, regularly, but, upon his return to Burlington, he met and joined the Beerworth Sisters, often with Joshua Glass on the keyboard. They played and sang together for numerous weddings and other gigs over the years. Last fall, he joined the Me/2 orchestra, returning to his classical roots and surprising himself with how much he loved playing in an orchestra again. A few months later, he joined a bluegrass band called Minced Oats, enthusiastically taking on the challenge of learning a new musical style. His violin playing was hauntingly beautiful and brought a level of emotional depth to whatever he took part in.

Over the years, Tim was always present and enjoyed many different family gatherings, from the days as a child when he stayed with his grandparents in Yarmouth and Freeport, Maine, and went for sails — and even overnights — on his grandfather’s sailboat. There were Thanksgivings, Christmases and summer gatherings with aunts and uncles and his four cousins (all boys), including the times when the whole Carr family rented large houses on the ocean at Red Roof on Gloucester’s Eastern Point and on Lovell’s Cove in Harpswell, Maine.

Tim will be remembered as an incredibly talented violinist and musician; a kind and loyal friend; an animal lover; an amazing skier; a hard worker; and a thoughtful, articulate, and intelligent person. He was loved by many, and he will be sorely missed.

Tim is survived by his mother, Hope Baker-Carr, and his brother, Andrew Swanson, both of Burlington, Vt.; his aunts and uncles, Sarah Carr of Great Barrington, Mass., Stephen E. Carr and Kathryn Carr of Newburyport, Mass., Carla Swanson LeMar of South Pasadena, Fla.; four Carr cousins and spouses; and one Swanson cousin. Tim was predeceased by his father, Ernest Swanson, of Paris, Maine, in 2020, and his uncle, Frederick Carr Jr., of Thomaston, Maine, in 2023, and both sets of grandparents.

A celebration of life will be held at All Souls Interfaith Gathering at 11 a.m. on Saturday, October 7, 2023. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Me2 Orchestra: Classical Music for Mental Health at, or another organization of your choice. In addition, there will be a concert with Tim’s groups, a “Tribute to Tim Swanson, featuring the Beerworth Sisters, Minced Oats and Sean Ryan,” at the Shelburne Vineyard from 5 to 8:30 p.m. on Sunday, October 8. Proceeds from this show will be donated to the Me2 Orchestra.

Got something to say? Send a letter to the editor and we'll publish your feedback in print!


Mark your family’s milestones in the newspaper and online with Seven Days:

births • graduations • weddings • anniversaries • obituaries


Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

Seven Days moderates comments in order to ensure a civil environment. Please treat the comments section as you would a town meeting, dinner party or classroom discussion. In other words, keep commenting classy! Read our guidelines...

Note: Comments are limited to 300 words.

Latest in Obituaries

Keep up with us Seven Days a week!

Sign up for our fun and informative

All content © 2023 Da Capo Publishing, Inc. 255 So. Champlain St. Ste. 5, Burlington, VT 05401

Advertising Policy  |  Privacy Policy  |  Contact Us  |  About Us  |  Help
Website powered by Foundation