By Steve Svetovich
The late Tom Swinick’s first Swinick home was built in 1987 for Robert and Mary Ann Fitzpatrick.
“A quality home is the only kind you can afford.”
Custom built. Choice lots. Fine features. The Swinick Development in Dunmore.
Swinick, who died this past Nov. 15, did not disappoint the Fitzpatrick couple, who are still enjoying their home to this day.
The home is located at 421 Shirley Lane, Dunmore.
The home originally was supposed to be 401 Shirley Lane. But due to a simple error made in the County assessor’s office the address became 421 Shirley Lane.
Bobby Fitzpatrick, known by all of his friends as Fitz, explained. “The home is the first in that phase of the development,” he said. “It was originally supposed to be 401 Shirley Lane, but the individual in the County assessor’s office made a slight error by changing the zero to a two, so 401 became 421. No one corrected it, so the homes on Shirley Lane start at 421 rather than 401. Because of this, then that section of the development started at 421. People often ask why it starts at 421. Well, that is the reason.”
Fitz said he met Tom Swinick at the old Igoe’s Bar in Dunmore. “We were in graduate school at the time and would stop by once in a while after classes.
“When my wife Mary Ann and I decided to build a home we contacted Tom Swinick. Tom was such a great guy and very honest and hard working.
“We bought two parcels of land on Shirley Lane in 1987 from him. We decided to build our first home there. It was our first home and the first one Tom built for anyone.
“Well, for our wedding present, the late John Domanish, a local architect, designed our home for us.
“This was Tom’s first house to be built in the development, so he could not wait to get started on it. He was just as excited as we were. He was there everyday for the building of his first home. When it was completed, he was so excited and proud to hand us over the keys.”
And it didn’t stop there. Fitz said Swinick stayed in constant touch, always asking about the initial home and making himself available for any possible issue.
“He was literally there from start to finish, from 1987 until two weeks before he died,” Fitz said.
“Just two weeks before he passed away, I called him. I had a broken lock that I could not fix. Well, Tom came right over. He actually fixed the lock with the exact same apparatus he used in 1987. And that was not all he did. He went on to check every lock in the house. He found other locks that needed repair and promised to come back in a couple weeks to fix them.
“But then he passed away, But he kept his promise, because a few days after he passed I got a call from his son. He told me his dad made a promise to fix the rest of the locks.
“So his son came over to fix the locks to keep his dad’s promise.
“And that’s the kind of guy Tom Swinick was. True to his word and working from the day his first house was built in 1987 until two weeks before he died.
“He was just a tremendous guy right to the end. And we are still enjoying the home he built for us. He was so proud of it.”