William "Tom" Van Swearingen

william van swearingen

William "Tom"  Van Swearingen


William T. Van Swearingen was born March 24, 1939 at Porter Memorial Hospital in Denver, Colorado to John and Alice (Mckim) Van Swearingen.  He passed away November 25, 2013 at Littleton Hospital in Littleton, Colorado. William is survived by his sons Tom and Chet (Amanda) Van Swearingen as well as many nieces, nephews and extended family.

Tom loved everything about life!  First and foremost, he loved being a dad.  Just recently, he said, “I am the luckiest person in the world because I get to see both of my boys every day.”  He loved work—working at the Denver Post for 29 ½ years and then at EPW for 25 years.  He loved people, making friends everywhere he went.  He was so giving to everyone he knew, doing everything he could to help out, anywhere he could.  He loved dirt track racing.  He attended his first race in the 40’s and that sparked a life-long passion.  Beginning in the 60’s and ending in 2007, he served in a variety of capacities in the racing community, from official to announcer to pit steward.  After that, he settled for spectator.  This aspect of his life brought him great joy.  He loved the outdoors—fishing and hunting.  He loved to play the piano.  He loved hockey.  He loved to make people laugh with his extraordinary sense of humor, whether it was telling stories about the trouble he would get into with his brother Terry, telling inanimate objects to “Stay” and “Give it a cookie,” or tapping his fingers in Morse code to the beeping of the machines in the hospital and saying “Come in Yellow Knife.” Tom’s love for these aspects of life brought joy to all of us in one way or another.  He will be greatly missed!  Every time we would leave him, he would say, “You be careful,” so I will leave you with those words.

A celebration of life will be held at the Bullock Colonial Chapel on Friday, December 6, 2013 at 9:00 a.m. with a reception immediately following at Frank "The Pizza King" (from 10:00 am to 11:00 am) located at 4701 South Broadway in Englewood.


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Memories Timeline


  1. Spent a lot of time with Tom in the announcing booth-Great guy who loved racing   R.I.P. my friend   Mitch Miller

  2. Tom was a special kind of friend.  I really enjoyed our lunches and time we spent together.  He was smart, kind, considerate and fun to be around.  His many and varied interests made it a lot of fun to hash over life with.  He was the best and will be greatly missed.

  3. We have known Tom for along time.  He was a good friend, and will be missed.

    Are thoughts and prayers go out to the family!

  4. Chet, Tom and family;

    It was an honor to know and work with Tom thru EPW over the last 20 years.  He was always kind and helpful with whatever problem or question we had. We will miss his wonderful stories, humor and love for his family and friends…as well as his not-so-subtle hints for more cake donuts that he typed across our EPW invoices!!  🙂  Tom was one of the Good Guys and we were blessed to count him as our friend!  Our thoughts and prayers go to you and your family.  Dan and Melaine Davidson,  Sheridan, Wyoming

  5. Our hearts are heavy,  we will always cherish and will miss the great stories and the wonderful friendship Tom always brought to the sprint car races.  Our deepest sympathy to the entire family.

    Rick, Cindy & Nick

  6. It is with great regret that I will be unable to attend Tom's memorial service. Tommy, you and Chet have been in my thoughts since his passing…I will always remember his un-dying passion for you kids as well as his love of open wheel racing. I will smile when I remember his racing calls at Rocky Mountain Speedway, as well as his professionalism at EPW. Always had a kind word and a great racing story to tell. Godspeed Tom…

    With sincere regards,

    Ron Hough

  7. This is very hard to write, as Tom was what I call my western states Father when I first moved to Denver. He was the first person to greet me at EPW and since he found out my passion for racing was the same as his, we became very close friends.

    He always wanted to know the stories of Midwest racing. We both knew some of the same people, and our stories and trips to the race track were very memorable. When I moved back to the Midwest, Tom and I always would talk maybe 2 or 3 times a week, not just about racing, about life in general. He made a couple trips to Minneapolis, and I would always take him to a race. The trip the he always talked about was to Superior. Wi for a sprint car show. He always said it was one of the best trips to a race he ever made.

    I will always have a place in for my heart Tom, couldn't been a nicer person, and glad to call him my friend.

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