Cover photo for David Swim's Obituary
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1950 David 2024

David Swim

June 14, 1950 — January 1, 2024

David Hugh Swim, 73, passed away peacefully on January 1, 2024, surrounded by those who love and feel gratitude for his life and example. Funeral services will be held at 3 p.m. Saturday, January 20, 2024, at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Chapel at Temple Hill, 2100 California Circle, Rancho Cordova, CA 95742. A viewing will begin prior to the service, beginning at 1:30 p.m. at the same meetinghouse. 

David was born to Hugh and Helen Swim on June 14, 1950, in Pocatello, Idaho. David is the eldest brother to Heather, Linda, Laura, Zane, Kathleen, and Bill and like a sibling to his cousins Bob Neely and Sherri Pape, who sometimes shared their home. 

Starting at the age of twelve, David worked for his father by steam cleaning tractors, putting machinery together, moving sprinkler pipe, and driving tractors for the family’s sugar beet operation and Ford Tractor Dealership. The favorite moments of his youth would happen while assembling machinery when he saw the little blonde Crump girl walking down the sidewalk of McCammon, Idaho, population 550. In the seventh grade, Karla was the first girl he ever kissed, and he began to walk her home from their church’s youth program and hang around outside, visiting until seven minutes to 9 p.m., leaving just enough time for him to sprint the eight blocks home to make curfew. 

David attended Marsh Valley High School in Arimo, Idaho, where Karla was a classmate, though no longer his girlfriend. David’s mother was a beloved teacher of English, Speech, and Drama, and he loved riding to school with her.  David graduated with the class of 1968 and high school memories included wrestling, going to Boys State, and taking drama class from his mother.

David attended the University of Idaho in Moscow, Idaho, for eighteen months before, according to him, he flunked out and left with 43 units of 1.99999. He took a break from college to serve a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Santiago, Chile, from 1970 to 1972. During that time, that same little Crump girl started to correspond with him by mail (after running into him before he left on his mission and seeing how he had matured during his eighteen months at college). They were married in the LDS Idaho Falls Temple on June 30, 1972.

From a young age, David loved reading Howard Pyle’s stories of Robin Hood and King Arthur. David desperately wanted to be a hero in his own story, one who put the needs of others before his own. To achieve that goal, he and Karla left the familiarity of Idaho and moved to California for a career in law enforcement.

David started with the Stockton PD in 1973, worked as a police officer, sergeant, and lieutenant, and then retired as a captain in 1995. David spent 15 years in SWAT and six years as its commander. That was the most exciting time of his life. He was Zebra 1 and commanded a team of roughly fifteen. He was known for his leadership, integrity, ability to remain calm during crisis, compassion, and talent to handle anything.

While David may have flunked that first attempt at college, he later soared as an academic. David finished his degrees with honors, culminating in earning his doctorate in 1997 from the University of Southern California’s Sol Price School of Public Policy.

As so common in the Hero’s Journey, through the refiner’s fire of frontline experience as a cop and hours sitting in classrooms and lecture halls as a student, David transformed. He grew even more attuned to the needs of others, and he gained an insatiable desire to mentor others. David always made time to teach, beginning by teaching police science at the high school and community college levels, as well as, teaching SWAT schools for eleven years. Upon completing his doctorate, he accepted a faculty position in the criminal justice department at California State University, Sacramento. He retired after 23 years, and there was never a day that he did not want to go teach, as it truly fulfilled him. 

During that same time, David did not forget those still putting their lives on the line as police officers and firefighters. He did labor consulting and negotiated landmark contracts for large and small police/fire unions pertaining to their wages, hours, and terms and conditions of employment. He answered his phone 24/7 to advocate for the rights and protection of police officers and firefighters across the state.

And so, through hard work and tenacity, this Idaho farm boy of modest means became the ultimate hero. And like a true hero and unrivaled marksman, he kept his eyes on the mark and his priorities straight. David became a father in 1975 when Karla gave birth to their stillborn son, Joseph, followed in 1976 by the birth of their son Adam, who died of heart disease at two months of age. David and Karla were blessed with the arrival of their son Mark in 1980, and their daughter, Tory, joined in 1982. David was a remarkable co-parent, taking the kids to their extracurriculars, planning routine getaways while Karla enjoyed a weekend of peace, telling his children bedtime stories about knights and princesses, and being so present that they didn’t know until much later that he was not only their hero, but a hero to many, many others.

At age sixty-five, David became a grandpa with the birth of his beautiful granddaughter, Tessa. Two years later, his beloved grandson, Adam, joined. You would be pressed to find a more present, accepting, compassionate, fun, and dedicated grandpa. As in every other aspect of life, he always knew how to handle any situation that young children bring with love, humor, and optimism. With their births, these children became his world.

What kept David centered during his Hero’s Journey was his unfailing faith in Jesus Christ. David believed that thousands of years ago, our Heavenly Father had implemented a plan where we could return to his presence. David’s values were based on and framed by his firm belief in Jesus Christ, and he found solace through his membership and service in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. 

Having ventured so many times into the unknown with courage and zeal while holding close to the teachings he knew to be true, David has returned home, the final step of the Hero’s Journey. He accepted the call to adventure, remained valiant and faithful during each crisis, and has now gone home to his Heavenly Father transformed. 

Dave will be deeply missed by his wife, Karla; daughter, Tory; son-in-law, Daniel Inloes; and grandchildren, Tessa and Adam. His family feels joy knowing David is now with his precious sons, Joseph, Adam, and Mark; his parents, Hugh and Helen; his sister Heather; his cousin Bob; and the many dear relatives, mentors, friends, and loved ones who have preceded him in death.

In lieu of flowers or donations, please honor him by continuing his legacy of charity, kindness, compassion, and unconditional love—not only to others but also to yourself.

Services for David will be livestreamed.   Access to the Livestream recording will be available for 24hrs following the service. Click Here to access the recorded service.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of David Swim, please visit our flower store.
David Swim Funeral Program_Final 01.17.24.pdf

David Swim.MP3

Service Schedule

Past Services

Viewing for David Swim

Saturday, January 20, 2024

1:30 - 2:45 pm (Pacific time)

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Funeral Service for David Swim

Saturday, January 20, 2024

3:00 - 4:00 pm (Pacific time)


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Graveside Service for David Swim

Saturday, January 27, 2024

1:00 - 1:30 pm (Mountain time)

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