A version of this will be published in our local newspaper this week. As my sister said, it is a beautiful tribute to an exceptional father. I cannot take credit for the writing in this work. It was a collaboration between my sister, Pat, my niece, Jennifer and myself. I love you, Daddy………..
Sunday morning, August 16th, James Thomas Swaggerty, Jr. celebrated his joyous arrival in heaven. “Junior,” as he was known to family, and “Jim,” as he was known to friends was born July 6, 1926 in Knoxville, TN. The son of James and Obra Bell Swaggerty, he was the last surviving sibling. His brother, Francis Swaggerty and three sisters, Ruby Jones, Mildred Jinks and Marie Boling all preceded him in death. He married the love of his life, Lois Turner Swaggerty in 1947. Lois has remained by his side, even through the moment of his death, never failing in her love and devotion to the husband who cherished her. He was a Navy veteran, serving for 8 years, including service in WWII and Korea. His professional career was spent primarily at Y12, where he retired in 1989 after 37 years. A committed father, his children saw a tower of strength and a source of admiration. His son, G. Michael “Mike” Swaggerty preceded his father in death. His legacy continues in those he leaves behind. His daughters, Pat (Rusty) Cabage and Tina Collins; his four grandchildren, Jennifer (Jerry) Owens, Travis (Amanda) Cabage, James “Jay” Collins and Emily Anne Collins; his four great-grandchildren, Samantha and Cody Russell Owens, Anna and Cora Cabage; and countless nieces and nephews who remember Uncle Junior as an avid Tennessee Vols Fan, a cake baker and a jokester. As a faithful follower of Christ, Jim was committed to serving his Lord. He was a member of Black Oak Heights Baptist Church for 60 years, serving as a deacon and Sunday School director. His favorite place of ministry, though, was with the senior adult group, “Happy Travelers.” The friendships and bonds created through this ministry go far and wide, and Jim is survived by numerous friends who traveled and served with him. The family will receive friends, Thursday, August 20th from 5-7 pm at Black Oak Heights Baptist Church, 405 Black Oak Drive, with a service commemorating his life at 7 pm. Dr. Jack Parrott and Rev. Tina Collins will officiate. His grandchildren will serve as pallbearers, and it is requested that former members of “Happy Travelers” serve as honorary pallbearers. The internment will be Friday, August 21st at 1:30 pm at the Tennessee Veteran’s Cemetery at 2200 John Sevier Hwy. In lieu of flowers, please make memorial contributions to the Alzheimer’s Association. Even during the last two years of his life, Jim continued to make those around him smile with his infectious personality. This was especially true for the staff on D Wing at Ben Atchley Veterans Home. The family is so very thankful for the love and care Jim received as a resident there.