Funeral service for William T. “Bill” Swearingen, 93, of Lufkin will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, July 7, 2023 in the Gipson Funeral Home Chapel with Jim Riggs and Pastor Jennifer Steele-Lantis officiating. Interment will follow at Garden of Memories Memorial Park.
Bill was born March 6, 1930 in Barnum, Texas, son to the late Allie (Coggins) and Thomas Lafayette Swearingen. He passed away Monday, July 3, 2023 in the Pinecrest Retirement Community.
Bill was born and raised in Barnum, Texas. His father passed away when he was 15, so he and his mother moved to Nederland, where he graduated high school in 1947. After high school, he went to Landig College of Mortuary Science in Houston, graduating in 1949 as a licensed embalmer.
His career started in San Augustine, Texas where he met and married the love of his life, Eleanor Tannery. They celebrated 56 years and 5 kids together before God called her home in 2007. Bill was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1951, where he served 2 years as an intelligence officer during the Korean conflict. He was very proud of his service to his country, and a real patriot.
Upon discharge, Bill returned to the funeral industry. His employment with Gipson Funeral Home began November 15, 1956 in Pineland, Texas. He relocated to Lufkin with Gipson’s in 1959 as Executive Director, and loved serving the Lufkin community and multiple generations of families for over 40 years. He often reflected upon how blessed he felt to have helped so many generations of families during their time of sadness and loss.
Bill served 2 terms on the Board of Directors of the Texas Funeral Directors’ Association. He was past president of the East Texas Funeral Directors’ Association. He was also a member of the Lufkin Masonic Lodge #669 AF&AM, Lufkin Chapter #240 Royal Arch Masons, Lufkin Council #176 Royal and Select Masters, and the Lufkin Commandery #88 Knights Templar
His biggest passions were fishing, teaching his grandchildren to fish, telling fish tales and camping with his family.
Bill was a member of the First Christian Church and the Senior Kiwanis Club.
Survivors include sons and daughters-in-law, Keith and Peggy Swearingen, Tommy and Belinda Swearingen, Jeff and Tena Swearingen, all of Lufkin, and Terry and Donna Swearingen of Center; daughter and son-in-law, Melody and Norman Dickey of Gresham; fourteen grandchildren; twenty-seven great-grandchildren; two great great-grandchildren; and a number of other family members.
Preceded in death by parents; his wife, Eleanor Swearingen (2007); sisters, Iris Griswold, Roberta Barnes, and Anita Swearingen; and great-granddaughter, Eleanor Grace Dickey.
Pallbearers will be Jerry Duty, Norman Dickey, Keith Swearingen, Tommy Swearingen, Jeff Swearingen, and Terry Swearingen.
Honorary pallbearer will be Dr. Gordon Jones.
The family has asked that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to First Christian Church, 1300 S. First Street, Lufkin, Texas 75901; or to the Monastery of the Infant Jesus, 1501 Lotus Lane, Lufkin, Texas 75904.
The family would like to extend a special thanks to his caregiver, Lois Rangel.
The family will receive friends from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Friday morning at the funeral home.
Condolences may be offered at www.gipsonfuneralhome.com
Services have been placed in the trust of Gipson Funeral Home.
Keith and Peggy SwearingenSon and Daughter-in-Law
Tommy and Belinda SwearingenSon and Daughter-in-Law
Jeff and Tenna SwearingenSon and Daughter-in-Law
Terry and Donna SwearingenSon and Daughter-in-Law
Melody and Norman DickeyDaughter and Son-in-Law
He is also survived by fourteen grandchildren; twenty-seven great-grandchildren; two great great-grandchildren; and a number of other family members. Mr. Swearingen was preceded in death by parents, Allie (Coggins) and Thomas Lafayette Swearingen; his wife, Eleanor Swearingen (2007); sisters, Iris Griswold, Roberta Barnes, and Anita Swearingen; and great-granddaughter, Eleanor Grace Dickey.
Dr. Gordon JonesHonorary Pallbearer