Kirk Swanson

Obituary of Kirk Matthew Swanson

Kirk Matthew Swanson, 46, of State College, left for better places on October 22, 2023, after 16 years of living with epithelioid sarcoma cancer. He was a loving husband, father, son, friend, and an extraordinary human being.

Born on September 28,1977, in Miami, Florida, Kirk was the son of Valerie (Hoffman) and the late Carl Swanson. He was a 1995 graduate of Miami Palmetto High School and a 1998 graduate of Florida State University with a degree in Creative Writing. On December 19, 1998, he married his best friend and partner, Holly (Butz). They have two children.

Kirk's professional life was spent in nonprofit fundraising, where his talent for connecting with people benefited several organizations, including Penn State Hershey Medical Center and the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, where he was the Director of Development for Pennsylvania.

Kirk enjoyed photography, fishing, Geocaching, playing with his dogs, and watching The Office and Ted Lasso. Due to Holly's influence, he was a reluctant but hopeful fan of the soul-crushing Philadelphia Phillies.

In addition to his immediate family, Kirk's life and memory lives on through his brother Erik of Miami, Florida, and his partner Ilene; his father-in-law Larry Butz of Pleasant Gap, PA; and his brother-in-law Pete Butz and his partner Addie Byrne of Duluth, Minnesota. He also leaves behind an amazing group of supportive and loving friends.

Whether he was a college radio intern acting as the world's largest Girl Scout while handing out cookies on Apalachee Parkway in Tallahassee, getting a tattoo on an episode of Miami Ink, or dressing up as Jason to scare the neighborhood children on Halloween, Kirk enjoyed life and made the most of the time he had.

He was preceded in death by his father Carl and his mother-in-law Ann (Malia) Butz.

Kirk's ashes were buried at Graysville Cemetery in Spruce Creek, PA, during a private ceremony. A party to celebrate his life will be held in spring 2024, with details to be announced.

Donations in his name may be made to Stand Up To Cancer or the Sarcoma Foundation of America.

Online condolences may be made at

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