Photography 05

Stephen B Swayne

May 10, 1973 ~ November 11, 2020 (age 47)


LAKE FOREST, IL – Stephen Bradley Swayne, 47, of Lake Forest, Illinois, died unexpectedly on Wednesday, November 11, 2020.  Private services are being held for immediate family.  A celebration of Stephen’s life will be held at a later date.

Stephen was born on May 10, 1973, joining his loving siblings Scott and Sara. The Swayne family rejoiced in their time together throughout his childhood and into his adult life, and his family connection was important to him. This love for family expanded as he united with his life partner and husband, (Martin) Sean Riedel.

Stephen graduated from Moline High School in 1990.  He then attended North Park College, Chicago, for one year before transitioning to Columbia College, Chicago, where he earned his Bachelor of Arts degree with an emphasis in graphic design in 1996. Stephen’s professional career reflected his creative spirit, leading to a position as Creative Manager with Blick Art Materials, one of the oldest and largest art materials suppliers in the United States. He continued his professional career as he and his husband relocated to the Seattle, Washington area in 2013, where he developed a freelance career highlighted by Aster Award-winning publications for the Swedish Medical Group. Upon return to the Midwest, he continued freelance projects for various national firms.

Stephen’s artistic talent was unbounded. He was a brilliant painter, photographer, woodworker, and stained glass artist. He saw the world through a lens that distilled beauty to its finest form in every way. Stephen was a self-described guitarist/enthusiast and music fanatic. His passion for music and immersion in what made great instruments and music was reflected in his personal and professional artistic endeavors.

A lover of nature and its creation, Stephen found companionship with his beloved Scottish Terriers, Sassafras, Gibson, and Murphy. They brought him much joy as he gave them, along with his family, his selfless loving care.

He is survived by his husband, (Martin) Sean Riedel of Lake Forest, Illinois; his loving parents, Howard and Diane Swayne of Moline, Illinois; and his siblings Scott (Paige) Swayne of Carver, Minnesota, and Sara (Montgomery) Carlson of Muscatine, Iowa and their families.

In lieu of flowers the family has established the following memorial fund opportunities the National Fibromyalgia Association ( and the Scottish Terrier Rescue Northwest ( Cards or memorials sent to the funeral home will be forwarded to the family. Esterdahl Mortuary and Crematory, Ltd., Moline is assisting the family. 


A service summary is not available
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