Sylvia Kenny Swink was born in Burtrum, Minnesota, in July 1924, and graduated from high school there in 1942. She enrolled at the University of Minnesota until she was old enough to join the WAVES.
Swink enlisted in the WAVES in July 1944. She completed basic training at Hunter College in New York and then was sent to the Navy Annex Washington, D.C., to do clerical work. Swink was discharged in 1945 when she marries Colon Swink.
The couple moved to Texas for a brief time and then to California, where she worked at the Department of Employment in Sacramento. In 1948, the couple moved to Minnesota, and two years later, the Swinks relocated to Greensboro, North Carolina, where Colon had family. There, Sylvia Swink worked for Guilford County as a clerk and tax collector from 1953 to 1989. Swink died on 30 April 2010 in Greensboro, NC.