Alva Dean Goggins Swearingen

September 3, 1943January 8, 2020

Alva Dean Goggins Swearingen, 76, of Columbia, SC passed away peacefully on Wednesday, January 8, 2020 after a valiant battle against pulmonary fibrosis. Deana Swearingen was born in Thomaston, Georgia to the late Alvin Gerald Goggins and Mattie Gaynell Johnson on September 3, 1943.

She grew up in Barnesville, GA and attended Valdosta State University where she met her beloved Buddy. She had been affectionately called Bud by family and friends in her small town and Bud and Buddy made the most perfect union. They lived in several cities in their early marriage and Deana made an impact everywhere she lived. She was always active in church, teaching Sunday School to young people and helping with Vacation Bible School during the summers. She was a 4-H Program Coordinator and Camp Counselor in Ringgold, GA and enjoyed working with the youth. After moving to Columbia, she taught adult students as they learned English as a 2nd language and taught non-reading adults how to read. Her home was always open to those in need and a place for bible teaching as she led numerous bible studies through the years. Her long career as a Senior Recruiter in the personnel business, first at Dunhill of Columbia and later at Career Connections, reflected her spirit of making connections with people and doing all she could to help them in their careers and in life. She didn’t just coach people to find a job, she mentored and developed relationships with each client and applicant she ever met.

She enjoyed spending time at home and in her garden, but most of all, she cherished and loved her family. Deana was adored by her family and her friends and will be deeply missed by all who knew and loved her.

She is survived by her husband of 57 years, James Herbert Swearingen, Jr., of Columbia, SC, her three children, Michael Gerald Swearingen of Columbia, SC, Melissa Swearingen Starkey (Darryl) of Chapin, SC and Mark Bradley Swearingen of Columbia, SC; 5 grandchildren Cole and Olivia Swearingen and Susannah, Jack and Garrett Starkey; her sister, Edith Nell Goggins of Barnesville, GA; her brother, Gary Johnson Goggins of Covington, GA; her brothers and sisters in love, Harvey Swearingen (Patty), Mickie Merritt, Dean Jordan (Jim) and many cousins, nieces and nephews.

A memorial service will be held for Mrs. Swearingen at St. Andrews Baptist Church Saturday, January 11, 2020 at 11:00 a.m. The family will receive friends from 10:00-11:00 prior to the service at the church.

Memorials may be made to The American Lung Association


  • Visitation Saturday, January 11, 2020
  • Memorial Service Saturday, January 11, 2020


Alva Dean Goggins Swearingen

have a memory or condolence to add?

Nancy Martini

January 10, 2020

Mrs Alva, when I cared for you in the hospital all I wanted was for you to be comfortable and out of pain. I’m happy you were able to go home and be with your family. I know you are with our Heavenly Father and are at peace and smiling on everyone you love.

Betti Williams

January 10, 2020

My life was made better and stronger by knowing and learning from Deana.
I’ll miss her forever. Knowing she has been made new brings comfort!!
God bless her family as they adjust to her loss.

Brenda Davenport

January 9, 2020

Deana was such a warm, sweet, and loving person. I am sad to hear of her death, but know she is with the Lord. My prayers for the family.

scott merritt

January 9, 2020

my aunt bud was so kind and easy to talk to. she always made you feel welcome. a beautiful person inside and out. she will be remembered. Christ love shined when she was around.

Linda Haller

January 9, 2020

What a wonderful woman. She will be missed terribly. May she be at peace in heaven, rejoicing with Jesus, after living a beautiful life. Thoughts and prayers to all her family.

Ann Starkey-Brooker

January 9, 2020

Deana was a loving, nurturing, beautiful person and always reminded me of the woman in Proverbs. My deepest sympathy and loving prays for her family and friends. Ann Starkey Brooker