James Allen Swinford (94), known to all as Jim, relinquished his earthly life as it was foundered by Covid-19 and was received home by his Lord on December 12, 2020. He is survived by his wife of 68 years, Georgiana Swinford, his three children and their spouses, Benjamin and Kathy, Ellen and Bruce, and Philip and Pamela. Jim leaves four grandchildren, Jeffrey and his wife, Lizzie, Caitlin, Jillian and her husband, Corey, and Ethan. He also leaves one great grandchild, Dallas James, and many nieces and nephews. Jim was predeceased by his two younger brothers, Philip Arthur and Grant Vanness (Colonel, US Air Force, Retired) as well as their parents, the late Basil and Helen Swinford.
Jim was born and raised in Muncie, Indiana. After his high school graduation, Jim served in the US Army Air Force as WWII was winding down before attending Ball State University, where he completed his undergraduate degree and met Georgiana, who was the love of his life. He worked as a mathematician for the US Government briefly before attending the University of Michigan, where he earned his Master of Arts in Education in 1956. Jim found his calling in education and worked for the Wayne/Westland (MI) school system until he retired in 1981. Though Jim advanced in his career to work in school administration he found his truest enjoyment in the classroom and finished his career teaching 4th and 5th grade elementary school students.
Jim loved knowledge and the beauty of the natural world. He and Georgiana worked at a residential summer camp early in their married life, where he took groups canoeing in the Boundary Waters of Wisconsin. Canoeing, sailing, hiking, biking and bird-watching were life-long joys. He and Georgiana instilled that same love of nature and adventure in their children on school vacation camping trips. They also introduced their children to the joys of service when they took summer employment at YMCA Storer Camps in Napoleon, MI in 1968. The family became part of the core of returning summer staff year after year and when Jim retired from teaching in 1981, he and Georgiana moved to Storer to work full-time in the camp’s year-round programming for another 5 years.
Jim and Georgiana followed son and daughter-in-law Ben and Kathy and grandson Jeffrey to the Dallas-Ft. Worth area in 1988, establishing their retirement home in Euless. Jim, a life-long learner and do-it-yourself-er, hung out at a local computer store, gaining sufficient skill and knowledge to build his own desktop computer system. He developed his computer savvy enough to become a teacher in the senior education program at Tarrant County Community College.
Jim Swinford had a full and adventurous life and will be greatly missed by his family and friends. In lieu of flowers the family encourages memorial gifts to the YMCA Storer Camps (http://www.ymcastorercamps.org/give/ways-to-give/) or Martin United Methodist Church of Bedford, TX (https://www.martinmethodist.org/give).
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of James Allen Swinford, please visit our floral store.