Joseph A. McSwain

September 6, 1956May 11, 2018

Joseph Allan McSwain was born September 6th, 1956, in Marietta, Georgia and passed away on May 11, 2018, in Merritt Island, Florida surrounded by his closest family.

Throughout his life, Joe was able to travel extensively and lived in many countries, first through his father’s work and then his own career. He graduated from Wake Forest University with a degree in History before being commissioned into the Navy in 1979. He met his wife, Daphne, on Easter Sunday in 1980, while serving as a Naval Intelligence Officer with an S3 squadron. They married a year later and started traveling the world together. He received his NFO wings in 1983. He was stationed in Guam with the VQ1 squadron flying S3 and ES3 aircraft before receiving his Master’s Degree in 1988 from the Navy Postgraduate School in Monterey, California. The first of his two wonderful daughters, Sarah, was born during that time, followed three years later by Megan, while stationed in Atsugi, Japan. During his Navy career, he earned the call sign “Zipper” and he was proud to explain what it meant. It was a somewhat unusual life, moving every 2 or 3 years and living in different locations, but in each place they lived, Joe made sure his family was cared for, happy and immersed in the local culture.

Joe enjoyed his military life, flying many different aircraft as a Naval Flight Officer. He was a dare devil at heart, loved flying of any kind, even bungee jumping, and had the dream of becoming an Astronaut with the space program. He retired from the Navy in 1995 in Patuxent River, Maryland and eventually moved to Florida to be close to his in-laws.

Joe was a devoted Christian who loved the Lord and made sure his family was always involved in church. In Florida, he ministered at First Baptist Church Merritt Island as a deacon and loved working with teenagers in Jubilation Student Choir. He had a passion for young people and liked to regale them with tales of all the adventures in his Naval Career. He always strived to be a positive influence in their lives, offered his help to any who needed support and pushed them to pursue their dreams, whatever they may be. Just recently he was teaching a young man how to drive, so he could pursue and go for his passions and dreams.

Joe loved his family with his whole heart and was there for them at all times, both the good and the trying. Recently, he became a grandpa/foppy to two precious little boys whom he loved dearly and was looking forward to sharing his love of space and flying with them.

Joe is preceded in death by his father, Roy McSwain. He is survived by his wife of 37 years, Daphne, his two daughters and sons-in-law, Sarah Lynes (Dave) and Megan Pearman (Benny), and his two grandsons, Elijah and Connor. He is also survived by his mother, Judith McSwain, sister and brother-in-law, Susan Minor (Randy) and nephew Bryce Minor.

Friends and family will be received on Friday, May 18, 2018 at 9:30 am at First Baptist Church, Merritt Island in the Sanctuary. Funeral service will begin at 10:30, and follow with burial with military honors at Cape Canaveral National Cemetery in Mims, Florida at 1 pm. In lieu of flowers, please donate to the Friends of Children of Brevard County, Inc., an organization that supports the Guardian Ad Litem program in Brevard County. They enable children who have suffered abuse or neglect to live normal lives by providing items and opportunities that are not covered by government program, such as beds, bikes, computers, school supplies, luggage, holiday gifts, camps, extracurricular activities and more.

To donate, please send a check in honor of Joe McSwain to:

Friends of Children of Brevard County, Inc. c/o Guardian ad Litem Program 2825 Judge Fran Jamieson Way Viera, Florida 32940

Or donate online:


  • Daphne McSwain, Wife
  • Sarah Lynes, Daughter
  • Dave Lynes, Son-in-law
  • Megan Pearman, Daughter
  • Benny Pearman, Son-in-law
  • Judith McSwain, Mother
  • Susan Minor, Sister
  • Randy Minor, Brother-in-law
  • Bryce Minor, Nephew
  • Also left to miss him are his two beloved grandsons, Elijah and Connor.


  • Visitation Friday, May 18, 2018
  • Funeral Service Friday, May 18, 2018
  • Committal Service Friday, May 18, 2018

Joseph A. McSwain

have a memory or condolence to add?

Clifton Grindles

July 6, 2018

It was a real honor to serve with Joe in VQ1. He was a great mentor and gentleman.

Dan Hill

June 3, 2018

It was an honor to serve with Joe. He was a genuine good guy. Everyone that met or worked with him was better for the experience.

Diane Naylor

May 18, 2018

We remember him so fondly when my daughter was in Jubilation. He was so kind and thoughtful to volunteer his time with the kids even after his daughters were grown. He didn’t have to but he had a sweet and loving spirit and his love of Jesus shined through. Condolences to is family and loved ones.

Ronnie Clinard

May 17, 2018

So many great memories: One moment I am forever grateful for was Joe literally helping to save my honeymoon before it started ! After my wedding, my new bride and I hurried off on a 6-hour drive to catch an international flight out of Atlanta, Ga. Crossing the N.C. state line into S.C. , we discovered a major oversight … I had left behind 100% of our cash and travelers checks. We telephoned back home for support. Joe was The Man who stepped up volunteering to meet us half-way and "courier" to us our much-needed stash of cash. With his big heart, Joe McSwain always came through for others ! For a close-knit circle of college friends, Joe was ALWAYS our un-sung HERO. He was a helpfully devoted friend, an uplifting brother in Christ , a reliable prayer warrior, and always an uncompromising inspiration with his implacable faith. During this difficult time of transition, we pray for Comfort and Continued Blessings to Joe's family & others he impacted so positively for eternity. With a beloved distinction of knowing Joe McSwain for over 40 years, I rejoice at the treasured memories of fun fellowship & laughter. Four Decades is a long-time to witness first-hand a stirring testament to God's sustaining grace through Joe's unwavering Christian walk in His Word. I was so blessed that His good and faithful servant touched my life in such a special way. Thank you Joe for your life well-lived !

Jim Warren

May 16, 2018

It was truly an honor and privilege to know and serve with Zipper.

Judith McSwain

May 16, 2018

I remember when the nurse brought you to me the first time. I looked at your dad and said "he is so tiny". You grew up to be the finest person that parents could want. We were always so proud of you. I love you and you will always be in my heart.
Love you


Daphne McSwain

May 15, 2018

We miss you already so much! I'm proud to have been your wife! Love, Daphne