Penny Swart (Carolyn) was raised in Ohio. She graduated from Bowling Green State University and taught English, writing, and American Lit in Livonia, Michigan where she met and married Bill Swart.
In 1967, the Swarts moved with children Steve and Laura to Mt. Pleasant, where Bill taught in the Math Department at CMU.
Penny was active in the League of Women Voters of Mt. Pleasant and served as Education Chair for the League of Women Voters of Michigan. She sold residential real estate for Mt. Pleasant Realty and co-owned Coldwell Banker Summit Realtors, in Mt. Pleasant.
Penny served as Treasurer in the first incarnation of the Mt. Pleasant Unitarian Universalist Fellowship.