Harry H. Swinger, born July 30, 1921, passed away July 27, 2014 at the Veteran’s Administration Hospital in Poplar Bluff. He will be greatly missed by his many friends and family. He was preceded in death by his father, Hershel Swinger who passed in 1933, and mother, Gladys Snider Swinger who passed in 1983. He was also preceded in death by his wife of 62 years, Mary Helen Baldwin in 2003, sister Fern Gaines, brothers Charles, Otis, Lester and Hershel Jr. Swinger. Survived by two brothers, Marlin Swinger (Morehouse, MO) and Chester Swinger (Wabash, IN).
He is survived by 2 sons, Gary Swinger (Bartlett, TN), and David Swinger (Dexter, MO); and 2 daughters, Diane Pruett (Corpus Christie, TX) and Cynthia Brown (Sikeston, MO). He is also survived by 8 grandchildren, and 10 great-grandchildren and a special friend, Diane Lemmons of Dexter.
Harry was a member of the Operating Engineer’s Union during his working career, and retired from that occupation in 1972 having operated heavy equipment and cranes on construction projects in many areas around the central part of the United States. The family resided in Benton, MO from shortly after WWII until 1972 when they moved to their home in Dexter, MO and retired.
Harry joined the US Army Air Corps in 1942 determined to be a pilot. He went through training throughout the US and became a gunner on the B-17. He said he was the smallest guy of the crew, so he wound up as a “ball turret” gunner. He was shipped to England about June, 1941 and was stationed there leading up to “D” Day. On June 6, 1944 he flew his first 3 missions in support of the “D Day” operations. He flew with the crew on 33 missions prior to their aircraft named “Fearless Fosdick” being shot down on August 13, 1944. He parachuted right into the enemy German hands, and was held P.O.W. in Stalag Luft IV and later Luft I until liberated at the end of the war. He weighed just 77 pounds when turned over to the American forces. He met several times with survivors of that 10-man crew in later years. His story was highlighted in an article in The Dexter Statesman on November 11, 2012. He was an American Hero to our country and to his family.
Harry and wife Mary were very active in the Order of the Eastern Star in Missouri and across the world, and Harry was a member of the Masonic Lodge. He worked tirelessly in the Disabled American Veterans organization for so many years of his life and leaves many friends in that organization. They were also members of the United Methodist Church for their entire adult lives in Benton and Dexter. They worked so hard with many others to get the Veteran’s Cemetery at Bloomfield, MO established. Harry will be interred at that cemetery.
Friends may call at the Rainey-Mathis Funeral Home in Dexter on Thursday, July 31, 2014 from 5:00 P.M. until 8:00 P.M.
A Masonic service will be conducted on Thursday at 7:00 P.M.
Funeral services will be conducted on Friday, August 1, 2014 at 10:00 A.M. in the Rainey-Mathis Funeral Chapel with Dr. Barry Winders officiating.
Internment will follow in the Missouri State Veterans Cemetery in Bloomfield with full military honors.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Disabled American Veterans Organization, 804 Moore St., Dexter, Missouri.
Morlyn June Brandon, daughter of the late Grady Jonas Sandusky and Ruby Elliea Shelby Sandusky was born in Bernie, Missouri on June 26, 1935 and departed at her residence in Rural Malden, Missouri on July 27, 2014 at the age of 79.
Mrs. Brandon was the jack of all trades, which included, Factory Worker at Hat Factory, Door Factory, Farmer, Carpenter, Cabinet Maker, Homemaker, and anything else that she set her hand to do. She was of Baptist Faith.
She was united in marriage to Freddie Paul Brandon in Tupelo, Mississippi on October 16, 1954. Mr. Brandon preceded his wife in death on February 6, 2010.
Survivors include three daughters, Kathy Brandon & husband Lynn and Peggy Brandon Rawls all of Sikeston, Missouri, Marjie Brandon & wife Terri Brandon of Essex, Missouri; by two brothers, James Sandusky of the State of Michigan and Kenneth Sandusky of Dexter, Missouri; by two sisters, Marcella Robertson of Malden, Missouri, Shirley Faye McRoy of Dexter, Missouri; by seven grandchildren and six great-grandchildren; also by other relatives and friends.
She was preceded in death other than by her parents and her husband, by one son, Freddie Paul Brandon Jr. in infancy, one son-in-law, Terry Rawls; by three brothers, Larry Sandusky, Carlos Sandusky and Barry Sandusky; by two sisters, Mary Ann Atchison and Dorothy McNece.
Friends may call at the Rainey-Mathis Funeral Home in Bernie, Missouri on Tuesday evening, July 29, 2014 from 5:00 PM until 8:00 PM.
Funeral services will be conducted in the Rainey-Mathis Funeral Chapel in Bernie, on Wednesday Afternoon starting at 1:00 P.M. with Rev. Shirley Faye McRoy officiating.
Interment will follow in the Stevens Cemetery, Rural Malden, Missouri. Rainey-Mathis Funeral Home in charge of all arrangements.
Mae Swindell, daughter of the late William Wiley and Myrtle Waters Wiley, was born on April 6, 1929 in De Soto, Missouri and passed away on July 21, 2014 at Elmcroft of Point Loma in San Diego, California at the age of 85 years.
Mrs. Swindell was a former resident of Dexter, residing in San Diego, California and was a member of the Dexter Church of Christ. She was a longtime employee of Elders Manufacturing in Dexter, following her employment at Elders she worked as a nurse for a number of years.
She is survived by one son, Raymond Swindell of San Diego, California.
Friends may call at the Rainey-Mathis Funeral Home in Dexter on Thursday, July 31, 2014 from 1:00 P.M. to 2:00 P.M.
Funeral services will be conducted in the Rainey-Mathis Funeral Chapel on Thursday, July 31, 2014 at 2:00 P.M. with Ryan Smallwood officiating.
Interment will follow in the Dexter Cemetery.
He had lived in Bloomfield most of his life, he was a self employed carpenter, a General Baptist and was a past member of the Eagles.
On April 13, 1953, he was married to Norma J. O'Dell in Essex, Missouri.
Surviving are his wife, Norma J. Fortner of Bloomfield, Missouri; two sons, Larry Fortner of Bloomfield, Jeffery Fortner of Dexter; one daughter, Janet Wilson of Dexter; nine grandchildren; fourteen great-grandchildren; one brother, Ernest Fortner of Illinois; two sisters, Marie Ellis of Harrisburg, Illinois, Mamie Hesselbine of Oklahoma. Other relatives and friends also survive.
He was preceded in death by two brothers, Leon and James Fortner.
Friends may visit Sunday, July 27, 2014, after 12:00 p.m. at the Watkins & Sons Funeral Home in Dexter, Missouri.
Funeral services will be held Sunday, July 27, 2014, at 2:00 p.m. at the Watkins & Sons Chapel in Dexter.
Interment with be in the Bloomfield Cemetery in Bloomfield, Missouri with Watkins & Sons Funeral Service of Dexter in charge of arrangements.
Online condolences may be sent to the family at [url_new=www.watkinsfuneralhome.com
Mr. Leathers was a veteran, having served with the United States Navy during World War II and the Korean Conflict and was a member of American Legion Post of West Plains. He had worked as an iron ore and coal miner for twenty-seven years.
On April 18, 1974, he was married to Juanita Berent in Sullivan, Missouri.
Surviving are his wife, Juanita Leathers of West Plains, Missouri; four sons, Ronnie Leathers, Joe & Judy Leathers, Mark & Cindy Leathers, and Mike Willig and friend Jane Wilson; seven daughters, Cathy & Merle Garrison, Brenda & Les Elfrank, Donna & Bob Green, Carol Shinberger, Karen & Calvin Judd, Kelly Brixley, and Cindy & Kevin Vavrinek; several grandchildren; several great grandchildren; one sister-in-law, Loretta Berent; and several nieces and nephews.. Other relatives and friends also survive.
He was preceded in death by two sons, one daughter, two sisters, and 6 brothers.
Graveside services will be held on Monday, July 28, 2014, at 1:00 p.m. at the Dexter Cemetery in Dexter, Missouri.
Online condolences may be sent to the family at www.watkinsfuneralhome.com
Watkins & Sons Funeral Service - P O BOX 96 - DEXTER MO 63841
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