Keene Swett, 87, of Iowa City, passed away Tuesday, May 26, 2020, at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.
He was born Nov. 6, 1932, in Wilton, Maine, the son of Charles and Agnes (Keene) Swett. Keene married the love of
his life, Joan Diane Houston, on Aug. 28, 1954, in Caribou, Maine.
He graduated from Wilton Academy and received his bachelor's degree from Tufts University, a master's degree from the University of Colorado and his Ph.D. from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland.
Keene served in the U.S. Army from 1955-57. The family moved to Iowa City in 1966 after Keene accepted a position as a professor with the department of geology, retiring in 1996. His research was instrumental in proving the theory of continental drift in the Northern Hemisphere.
Keene had many passions. Family was especially important to him. He enjoyed every opportunity to get the family together, whether it was Hawkeyes football weekends, ski trips, time spent at the cabin in Maine or adventure travel around the world.
His love of outdoors included kayaking, skiing, hiking, camping and boating. After retirement, he enjoyed spending time at his cabin in Maine, where he continued to pursue his interests.
Keene also was very committed to his teaching career and the geology students he taught. His professional accomplishments include multiple grants from the National Science Foundation and many articles in scientific journals.
Survivors include his wife, Joan; son, Alan Swett (Lisa) of Johnston, Iowa; daughter, Jo Ann Sheehan (Dennis) of Stoughton, Wis.; grandchildren, Michael Shattuck (Stephanie), Kelly Meinholz (Brad), Tyler Swett (Ashley) and Brandon Swett; great-grandchildren, Skylar, Cody, Jack and Jude; and a sister-in-law, Kathy Swett of Skowhegan, Maine.
Keene was preceded in death by his parents and his brother, Carlton.
Keene loved exploring national parks. The family wishes memorials be made via the website, donate.nationalparks.org in lieu of flowers or plants.
Keene chose to be cremated with Lensing Funeral & Cremation Service handling the arrangements.