Cover photo for Philip Swaney Sr.'s Obituary
Philip Swaney Sr. Profile Photo
1947 Philip 2021

Philip Swaney Sr.

January 9, 1947 — November 5, 2021

Philip J. Swaney Sr.

Age 74, of Cayuta, NY, passed away November 5, 2021.

A graveside service with military honors will be held at Sampson Veteran’s Cemetery in Romulus on Friday November 19, 2021 at 1:00pm.

He is survived by his wife, Catherine Copp-Swaney; children, John Swaney, Courtney Bermudez Swaney, and Philip J. (Kellie) Swaney, Jr.; and several stepchildren, grandchildren, and step-grandchildren. He was predeceased by his wife Marilyn Rose Swaney in 2014 and a brother. He also leaves behind his beloved pets.

He was a member of American Legion Post 555 in Watkins Glen. He was also a past member of the American Legion Post in Broadalbin and Watkins Glen. Phil was a Fifth Special Forces Army medic in Vietnam. He received the Silver Star, the third-highest military decoration for valor, for "gallantry in action" on Oct. 14, 1967, during his third tour of duty in Vietnam. According to his citation, he risked his life to rescue eight wounded soldiers from a battlefield.

He leaped from a medevac helicopter into an area of heavy fighting between American soldiers and Viet Cong in the Mekong Delta, according to the citation. He carried six soldiers to the helicopter and treated the wounded as they were being flown back to a field hospital, then returned to bring two more soldiers to safety. He escaped injury that day but was wounded three times during his 30 months in Vietnam. Following his service in the Army, he served in the US Navy.

He and his late wife Marilyn led the effort to create Honor Our Heroes Program which provides the full-color window stickers and license plates to veterans who have been awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, Navy Cross, Coast Guard Cross, Distinguished Flying Cross, Silver Star or Bronze Star. He was the first veteran to be recognized under a new state program that he was instrumental in developing and given the first window decal bearing a likeness of the Silver Star under New York's new Honor Our Heroes Program. Philip was a retired teacher. He taught and coached at South Seneca and Watkins Glen Central Schools.
Philip requested that donations be made to The Humane Society of Schuyler County, PO Box 427, Montour Falls, NY 14865 (or online at

You may share a memory of Phil with his family and friends by visiting his obituary at

Arrangements entrusted to Royce-Chedzoy Funeral Home, Watkins Glen
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Philip Swaney Sr., please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Friday, November 19, 2021

Starts at 1:00 pm (Eastern time)

Sampson Veteran's Memorial Cemetery

6632 NY-96A, Romulus, NY 14541

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