Creative Foam founder Dr. Peter Thomas Swallow passed away on October 31, 2020, surrounded by his loving family. He was born March 4, 1933 in Detroit, MI to Leslie Thomas and Loretta Marie (Schmitt) Swallow. Peter graduated form U of D Jesuit High School and continued on to U of D College. He put himself through college working at Chrysler alongside his grandfather, whom he cherished. Peter was also a graduate professor at U of D. On May 25, 1957, he married Judith M. Maskell at St. Bede’s Catholic Church in Southfield. Peter followed in his father’s footsteps and acquired his father’s packaging business, Swallow & Associates, located in Lathrup Village. In 1969, Peter founded Creative Foam Corporation in Fenton, MI. His company has now grown into three divisions: Transportation, Healthcare and Composites. As a serial entrepreneur, Peter owned and invested in several other businesses in and around the Detroit area: restaurants, realty, plastics and environmental to name a few.
He was extremely community oriented and a philanthropist, contributing his time to many organizations which included serving as a volunteer police officer for 20 years with the Lathrup Village Police Department, teaching gourmet cooking classes as a wine and cheese expert and the Livingston County Catholic Social Services where he served on the board and as treasurer. Peter is survived by his dear wife Judith, loving children, David (Brenda) Swallow and Mary Ellen Aria; adoring grandchildren, Hillary Lynn (Dan) Valko, Bailey Rose Ahmad, Madison Marie Ahmad and Garrett Thomas (Anna) Ahmad; cherished great grandchildren, Andrew James Valko and Henley Kaye Valko as well as his special canine friend Milo.
In an interoffice memo delivered at Creative Foam, David T. Swallow remarked how Peter was able to accomplish so many great things throughout his life. “Pete was the founder of Creative Foam Corporation. He assembled a wonderful TEAM of employees that have grown the company into a strong, industry leader over the past 50 years. Pete was intensely proud of what each and every employee contributed to growing the company. Each time I visited Dad, his first question was always about how the company was running.”
Peter had a lasting impression on the industry, our communities and most importantly our customers and employees. Philanthropist efforts such as the previously established Dr. Peter T. Swallow Founder’s Education Fund Scholarship program, which assists employees’ children and grandchildren seeking to continue their education into college, is one of many constant reminders on the impact Peter had. David added, “Dad’s leadership and vision will be missed, but he left us knowing that Creative Foam is in wonderful hands. He knew that his legacy would be carried on by the strong people and TEAMS within Creative Foam.”