FILIPINOTOWN (CBSLA) — In the midst of their grieving, family and friends of community advocate John Eric Swing want to keep his memory alive.

The 48-year-old was diagnosed with COVID-19 and passed away from complications in June. Swing was a leader and long-time advocate in LA’s Filipino community. He was most recently the executive director at SIPA, which stands for “Search to Involve Pilipino Americans.” It’s a non-profit organization dedicated to the enrichment and empowerment of Filipino Americans.

“Even until today, it’s very, we’re still trying to process and obviously, we are all still grieving,” said Lyle del Mundo, SIPA board of directors president.

Swing had been a staff member with SIPA since 2015. He led the non-profit group’s small business counseling services and managed their entrepreneurship program. During his time there, he was recognized by local and state leaders for his work, which included getting funding for delivering food to seniors and families in need in Historic Filipinotown.

“One new program that he developed just last year was really helping teach our elderly, our seniors, how to use technology,” Del Mundo said.

Del Mundo said Swing’s passion to serve his community started early-on. He was a son of Filipino immigrants and was proud of his heritage. He graduated from UC Riverside with a degree in ethnic studies and went on to serve in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves. Swing later pursed a career in community service full time.

“John was a major advocate of empowering the community and supporting other organizations, not just ours,” Del Mundo said.

As SIPA now works to redevelop and expand their headquarters, the group says they know Swing would want them to service the community even more.

Del Mundo said his message to Swing is that “you were my brother form another mother, we all miss you, you led us to the finish line with this new project and we will do the best we can to continue your life’s work and legacy.”

Swing is survived by his parents, wife, six children, brother, and sister.

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