The Swain Legacy

Imagine your life’s legacy transforming an entire community. Imagine knowing that your generosity will save not just one life, but many. Imagine the effects of your hard work carrying on for generations to come.

Planned giving can do just that. With a legacy gift, such as a bequest or estate gift, you can ensure future support for the patients, their families and the medical services at Island Health.

During the summer of 2022, the Island Health Foundation received a bequest of stock from Mrs. Liyu ‘Meilin’ Swain with an estimated value of $1.6 million dollars. Mrs. Swain named Island Heath as a beneficiary of her investment accounts as a tribute to her late husband, Spencer Swain, who passed away in 2011. Spencer battled cancer for three years during which time he received care at Island Health. As a grateful patient, he named Island Hospital as a beneficiary of his estate and Meilin chose to honor his legacy through her bequest.

A retired Lieutenant Coronel in the Marine Corp, Spencer served during World War II. Following his military service in 1968, he moved to Taiwan to work in the boat building industry. There he met Meilin who was working in the office at the time. They moved to the US in 1973 and were married.

Spencer loved racing sail boats and commissioned a boat to be built by his company in Taiwan. He also loved aviation.

Known by her friends as Meilin, Meilin prided herself in taking care of Spencer. She loved to cook, garden and manage her stock investments.

The Swains moved to Anacortes in 1990. They were members of the Anacortes Yacht Club where Spencer served as Commodore. He also served as a Commissioner for the Port of Anacortes.

Both were grateful for the care they received at Island Health in their time of need, including the Emergency Department, Acute Care Unit and the Merle Cancer Care Center.

Although they are laid to rest at sea, the legacy of their gift will strengthen local healthcare and improve the lives of those who turn to Island Health for care, for generations to come.