Let the memory of Jeffrey be with us forever
  • 39 years old
  • Born on February 25, 1977 .
  • Passed away on September 30, 2016 .

This memorial website was created in memory of our loved one, Jeffrey Michael Swolgaard passed away unexpectedly on Friday, September 30, 2016 due to a preexisting heart condition.  He was born on February 25, 1977 in Santa Cruz, California. He attended Westlake Elementary School, Mission Hill Jr. High and Santa Cruz High School.  He went on to graduate from Cabrillo College.  Jeff had a passion for music of all kinds.  While attending Santa Cruz High, he was involved in the Concert Band, Jazz Band and the Marching Band, as a drummer. When he attended Cabrillo College he performed with the Jazz Band under the direction of Ray Brown.  When Jeff was a freshman in High School he became the drummer for his high school friend Frankie Moreno.  They spent quite a few years playing in different venues from the local area and then in the bay area, Las Vegas and beyond.  He left the Santa Cruz area for a while, but was drawn back by his love for the music scene. In the last few years he played with the band Whiskey Pass, and just recently had started with a second band Tin Can Truckers.  He again found his passion and had never been happier!  He even enjoyed every practice he had with these wonderful friends he had made. He was in his element and was always treated like a professional by his fellow band members.  Jeff also had another passion, the San Francisco Giants!  Jeff played little league and pony league baseball and was the catcher for the SC High baseball team.  He held a few different jobs as he grew up, he started as a candy boy at Marini’s at the beach when he was 14.  He went on to work at Long’s in downtown SC and Levitz in So. Cal, Harbor Ready Mix in Redwood City and then his current position at Granite Construction as a mixer driver.

Jeff is survived by his parents, Gordon & Colleen Swolgaard, his brother Jason Swolgaard and wife Giulia and three nieces Amelia, Caitlin and Alyssa Swolgaard.  He is also survived by many Aunts, Uncles and Cousins that loved him dearly. We will remember him forever.  A Celebration of Life will be held at Benito & Azzaro  Pacific Garden Chapel in Santa Cruz on Sunday October 23 2016 at 1:00pm. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to the Santa Cruz High School Band Boosters care of SC High School 415 Walnut Ave. Santa Cruz, CA 95060

Posted by Bob Huber on 25th February 2018
Posted by David D on 25th February 2017
Happy Birthday Brother. NFA
Posted by Gordon Swolgaard on 25th February 2017
Jeff, today is your birthday. Mom and I are watching Amelia, Caitlin and Alyssa this weekend and we all want to wish you a happy birthday. We miss you everyday. Jason and Giulia are spending the day with a lot of your friends from Santa Cruz. We'll be thinking of you a lot today just as we do everyday. We miss you and love you. Till we meet again. The beat goes on. Play some of our favorite music today. Love Dad.
Posted by Pat Plante on 26th October 2016
I knew of Jeff's kindness and experienced it often. When he would come to visit he would often spend time and visit with his Grandmother and that meant so much to her.
Posted by Matt Porter on 25th October 2016
At Jeff's memorial yesterday there was a theme: people talked about Jeff the musician, and Jeff the human being. They talked about his talent and his work ethic as a drummer, but also about his consideration and devotion as a bandmate and a friend. Talent you’re born with. But the other three: hard work, consideration, devotion – these are things you’re taught. As a little kid I saw firsthand the love, respect, and hard work that the Swolgaard house was built on. I hope Colleen and Gordon can find some space in their hearts to feel proud of the son they raised and to know that he had meaningful relationships, that he treated people with courtesy and respect, and that he made the world a better place by it. All my love to Colleen, Gordon, Jason, and the rest of Jeff’s family – both musical and blood. May his memory live on.
Posted by Tao Stadler on 23rd October 2016
I worked with Jeff at Marinis for several years in high school and always enjoyed spending time with him. I've held on to one specific memory that always seemed to be the first thing that came to my mind when I'd think of him or see one of his Facebook posts. I had tickets to a concert and was telling Jeff about the lineup. I dismissed one of the band's as some no-name act I'd never heard of before. "I don't know, some band called Soundgarden," I told him. Jeff was a few years younger than me but I remember he got right in my face and told me I absolutely had to make time for Soundgarden, as they were going to be huge someday. I remember after seeing them live I realized how right Jeff was and how grateful I was he convinced me to pay attention. His credibility was forever sealed with me, and even now almost 30 years later I still feel indebted to him for that. I doubt he would remember that conversation, but I've never forgotten it. I'm sorry for your loss, Jason, Colleen, Gordon, and the rest of your family. Jeff was a very special guy and made lasting impressions with a lot of people, probably more than he ever realized.

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