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Duff Harry Swain Obituary - Hill Funeral Home


There will be a celebration of life and details are still being worked out.

Duff was a good man. He was talented. He was passionate about the things he loved. I can hear that laugh, oh that laugh.

I am sorry that his journey here has come to an end, but what a journey it was. He was a fixture in the life of our family through his consulting firm. He gave wise counsel to my father as he built his trucking company. He became a personal friend and was there for dad in ways many of us couldn't be when my brother was tragically killed in 1989.

I continue to work in the transportation industry and would see Duff and his brother at transportation industry tradeshows and it was like old home week catching up on the gossip.

Duff and his pipe is a firm memory. He loved those things.

I visited him 4 years ago or so, when he was rehabbing. I was in the Columbus area and stopped in. It was great to see the familiar smile. He was talking about sailing of course.

May memory be a gift to each of you. May those who knew him best be grateful for a man who loved deeply and was an innovator in an industry that can occasionally be challenging to break into.

Steve Chapman

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Obituary for Duff Harry Swain

Duff Harry Swain 1937-2023

Duff Harry Swain

10/08/1937 - 01/05/2023

Duff H. Swain, 85, of Westerville, OH passed away with loved ones by his side on January 5th, 2023 after a difficult battle with pulmonary disease.

Duff was born on October 8th, 1937 to Duff R. and Marguerite Swain in Davenport, IA. The family soon moved to Council Bluffs, IA. He joined the Boy Scouts at a young age, and earned the rank of Eagle Scout, which led to a lifelong love of camping. He graduated from Abraham Lincoln Sr. High School in Council Bluffs in 1955, was a 2nd Lt. in its ROTC program, and started his business career as Business Manager of his high school yearbook.

He attended college at University of Nebraska - Lincoln. In 1959, Duff met Margaret Ellen Callahan of Greeley, Nebraska. They were married in 1960 and after several moves, raised their family in Marietta, OH and Westerville, OH until Margaret’s death in 2007.

Duff was preceded by his mother, Marguerite, his father Duff R., and his brother Jim. He is survived by his brother Thom, his sons Mitch (Tracey), Chad (Cheryl), Ty (Kate), Duff M. (Anna), daughter Calyn and 11 grandchildren (Ellen, Kate, Will, Meghan, Melissa, Chad Jr., Zac, Jake, Nate, Emma, and Hazel).

Duff loved meeting people and had a knack for sales and marketing. The first part of his business career was primarily spent in the semi-trailer (LTL) industry with Miller Trailers, RYDER, Ravens and Timpte, ultimately leading to the founding of his consulting firm, Trincon Group, in 1982. His first client was a trucking company that was emerging from Chapter 11 reorganization. From this initial success, he assembled a team to focus on the unique needs of the trucking, transportation and shipping industries. In 1983, Trincon developed a unique activity-based costing system that helped clients to develop more efficient pricing and profitable operations. In 1999, Duff spearheaded an innovative program to address the severe truck driver shortage in the U.S. by training and recruiting new drivers from Puerto Rico. He was well known as an industry expert, spoke at conventions, authored several white papers and trade articles, and was frequently featured in national publications and leading industry magazines to discuss trucking industry issues.

Highlights of the last several years of his life include time spent with his partner Susan Jones, who, among many other fun things they did together, helped him develop an interest in OSU football. He became an avid sailor, sailing with co-captain Kenny Hall aboard their Wicked Pissah, made annual trips to Traverse City, MI to be aboard the tall ship Manitou, encircled Cuba on a sailing trip with friends, and made new friends at the Alum Creek Sailing Association where, he was a member, and used his business acumen to help improve their organization.

Grandpa Duff loved camping with the family, particularly his grandkids. He will be remembered for having the most tarps, the best camp box, loyalty to Coleman camp gear, an all too familiar morning call for KAW-FEEEE, and is credited with the discovery of land-clams.

Duff traveled extensively and made friends everywhere he went. He loved talking to people, getting to know them, and remembering their names and their stories. He will be greatly missed by many.

he family requests that donations be made to the Salvation Army in Central Ohio, 966 E. Main St., Columbus, OH 43205 in lieu of flowers. There will be a celebration of life and details are still being worked out.