Lewis Carroll Swift
Friday 16th of June 1939 - Thursday 8th of October 2020
874 W. Main St., Lexington, KY
Lewis Carroll Swift, a Lexington native and career employee of pari-mutuel departments at thoroughbred horse and greyhound dog tracks, died Thursday, Oct. 8, at Kindred Hospital Louisville. He was 81.
He had lived the past two decades in New Albany, IN.
Early in his pari-mutuel career, Mr. Swift teamed with a few others to spin magic with pencils in tracks’ calculating rooms rapidly determining horses’ odds as bettors placed wagers and then rapidly determining payouts based on the race’s finish. After the debut of computers, he worked the wagering line windows as a seller or cashier. For years he was a familiar face to regular bettors at Keeneland, Churchill Downs, Oaklawn Park Race Track, Hot Springs, AR, and Saratoga Race Course, Saratoga Springs, NY, to name a few. He spent time, too, as a mutuel department manager.
In the 1970s, Mr. Swift worked briefly as a sports writer at The Lexington Herald-Leader, covering high school sports. He always was a devotee of the silver screen.
Mr. Swift was born June 16, 1939, the youngest of six children of Virginia Board Swift and Morrison Vincent Swift. He was a graduate of Lexington Catholic High School and the University of Kentucky. He spent much of his youth on the playgrounds and playing fields of Woodland Park in central Lexington.
He was preceded in death by sisters Elizabeth A. Swift and Ruth Swift Gioiosa and brothers John S. Swift, Morrison V. Swift Jr. and William C. Swift. He is survived by a sister-in-law, Ellen D. Swift, Crawfordsville, IN, a brother-in-law, Thomas E. Gioiosa, Greenville, SC, and dozens of nieces, nephews and cousins living across the nation.
A graveside service is scheduled for 11 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 14, at Calvary Cemetery, Lexington. Memorial contributions are suggested to the Epilepsy Foundation of America and the American Cancer Society.
I first met Lew when he was about eleven.. he was always wonderfully interested in sports, especially High School sports. Uncle Lew, as we called him later, would entertain our family showing how to calculate the odds at tracks, the kids all loved him. A good man, Lew!
I have to refer to Lewis as Uncle Lew because that is what my children called him. Uncle Lew even sold me a ticket at Keeneland - no tip though. I know he is with our Lord now -peace be with you Uncle Lew.
Lewis was my neighbor for 2 decades. I mostly remember his sitting on the porch talking to neighbors as they walked by, and his deep affection for his dogs. E will be missed and long remembered in the neighborhood.
Uncle Lew was always laughing, joking, a fun. He was fun to be around. He will be missed.