Kittery, ME - Heitha (Thorkelsdottir) Swalm, 96, died on Thursday, May 3, 2018, in Scarborough. She spent most of her life in the US in Kittery. Born in Iceland, she was the first Icelandic woman to marry an American service man in World War II.
She and Chester Swalm married in 1942. The wedding was carried by the AP and appeared in almost all local newspapers in the US. She was predeceased by her husband of 71 years, daughter Linda Swalm, sisters Asta Thorkelsdottir and Margret Murray, and brother Ragnar Thorkelsson.
She is survived by her son Chet and his wife Gail Swalm, daughter Barbara Swalm and son-in-law William Magee. Heitha adored her three grandchildren, Dain Perkins, Jennifer Bushta, and Kathelene Canosa and nine great grandchildren, all of whom survive her.
She would light up whenever Jennifer and Kathelene were around. She was a beloved Aunt to her American and Icelandic nieces and nephews. The Icelandic heritage was an important part of her identity and she and her relatives visited each other often. Her legacy is the strong sense of family and the ties between the generations in both countries.