1926 George 2013

George Swecker

May 2, 1926 — January 5, 2013

George Reid Swecker, 86, of Harrisonburg, and formerly of Monterey, passed away peacefully Saturday, January 5, 2013 at Sunnyside Retirement Community. He was born on Maple Grove Farm in the BlueGrassValley, May 2, 1926, to the late Jennings Judy and Maria Tate (Sterrett) Swecker. Mr. Swecker loved his native HighlandCounty. He lived a full and joyful family, faith and community life there until dementia necessitated his move to Harrisonburg in 2004. In typical fashion he made fast friends of both the residents and employees. Mr. Swecker was a prominent farmer, part owner and longtime manager of Monterey Livestock Sales until his retirement in 1997. Additionally, he was active during those years in the Virginia Cattleman's Association. At the age of 23, he joined the Blue Grass Valley Bank's Board of Directors filling the seat of his grandfather, George Eagle Swecker. He served several terms as president over a span of 55 years. A graduate of Blue Grass High School, he would later go on to serve several terms on the Highland County School Board. A devout Presbyterian, he was a member and elder in the former Crabbottom Presbyterian Church until its closing in 1994, at which time he transferred membership to the Monterey Presbyterian Church. A Master Mason, he was a member and past master of Highland Lodge No. 110 A. F. & A. M. Mr. Swecker was a charter member and past president of the Blue Grass Ruritan Club, where he is still fondly remembered for his "motion to adjourn". He was a staunch Democrat, prompting many lively discussions over the years with his friends from the opposite side, particularly at the "Liars Table" at High's Restaurant. On November 7, 1953, he married Nancy Pence (Simmons) Swecker, also of Blue Grass. She preceded him in death on July 24, 1998. They made their home and reared their daughters on the family farm in Blue Grass. In the mid 1980's, the couple moved to Monterey. In addition to his parents and wife, he was predeceased by a sister, Frances Celia Crown, and two brothers, William Sterrett Swecker and Robert Tate Swecker. He is survived by two daughters, Susan Reid Swecker of Richmond and Elly Swecker of Harrisonburg; two beloved grandchildren, Brent Arbogast of Harrisonburg and Charlotte Arbogast of Richmond; two sisters, Betty Ann Abbott of Bedford and Mary Judy Riddick of Franklin; one brother, James L Swecker of Monterey as well as a number of nieces and nephews. A funeral service will be conducted at 11 a.m. , Saturday, January 12, 2013 at Monterey Presbyterian Church with the Rev. Melissa Litrel Harmon and Rev. C. William "Bill" Cox officiating. Burial will follow in the Blue Grass Cemetery. The family will receive friends from 6-8 pm, Friday, at Obaugh Funeral Home. It was Mr. Swecker's wish that his nephews serve as pallbearers. They include: Dr. William Swecker, Jr. of Blacksburg, Jesse Swecker of Maidens, Robert Abbott, Jr. of Hiwassee, James Crown of Raleigh, NC, J. L. Swecker of Clendenin, WV and John Reid Swecker of Midlothian. Mr. Swecker exhibited many of the same kind and decent traits of his grandfather, George Eagle Swecker. The following words from his grandfather's obituary (published in the Highland Recorder) resonates with how his family and friends feel regarding his passing. "Mr. Swecker will be greatly missed in his community and his place will be most difficult to fill. He was a loyal and devout Christian gentleman; a man of strong convictions and of the highest integrity. From observation it can be truly said that he exemplified the "Golden Rule" in his dealings with all mankind. To know him was to love him, and to be in his home was a blessing. He did justly, loved mercy, and went about doing good to his neighbors and friends. He was always interested in the progress of his community and friends, ever willing to give of his means, time and talent, when and wherever needed." Memorial donations may be made to the Highland County Sheep and Wool Producer Association's Scholarship Fund, c/o Jeanie Whitecotton, 2085 Maple Sugar Road, Blue Grass, VA, or Carealot, c/o Chanda Sponaugle, PO Box 6, Blue Grass, VA24413 (a newly established tax deductible fund to assist HighlandCounty's Senior Citizens).

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