On November 24, 2023 Jack D. Swafford, beloved husband of Cynthia, father of Chet, Sherry, and Penny, grandfather of Dustin, Brooke, Taylor, Andrew, and Clayton, great grandfather of Quinn, Patrick, and Evie passed to his heavenly home.
He was born on November 23, 1922 in Electra, Texas and was one of seven siblings.
Jack served in the Army during WWII in the 1874th Engineer Aviation Battalion in the South Pacific and was promoted to 1st Sergeant while in Kure, Japan before he returned to Wink, Texas after his service, marrying Cynthia Herring 4 days after his discharge. They were married for 75 years until her passing in July of 2021.
He attended UNM on the GI bill graduating with a Civil Engineering degree in 1948 and worked for the US Army Corps of Engineers for 35 years, retiring as Chief of the Military Branch in 1978. He took up golf after retiring, playing until he was 85.
"Papa", a follower of Jesus Christ, read his bible daily and remained mentally astute at 101 years old. Two months before passing, he asked his daughters to get him a Texas Instrument calculator with a square root function! Jack, who resided with his daughter Sherry for the past 2 1/2 years, enjoyed placing his breakfast order every morning, steak and eggs and huevos rancheros were his favorites. Papa retained his sense of humor until the very end, telling a nurse who asked him how he was doing that he, 'felt okay but wasn't going to play
any contact sports.'
Dad was a Jack of all trades our entire lives and could fix anything. If there was not a part available he made one! He learned to use an iMac, iPhone, and Apple Watch at 91 years old and was an active texter.
His family was the most important thing to him and he especially delighted in his grandchildren and great grandchildren, his face positively glowing whenever he spent time with them. Jack took great pleasure in living to see a red headed great granddaughter born several weeks before his passing, the only red head born in the family since his youngest daughter, Penny.
Jack was extremely proud to have served his country in WWII and never left the house without his WWII Veteran hat in his later years. He and his 3 brothers served our country and the family considered themselves extremely blessed that all 4 boys returned home.
He joined the 1874th Engineer Aviation Battalion survivors’ group for the veterans and family members of the men who served in this division. In 2012 the son of a service member discovered Jack was located in Albuquerque. He found contact information hoping to talk to a relative of Jack’s about his service. When Jack himself came to the phone, the group was astounded and delighted to find out that he was still alive and invited Jack to the group’s dinner being held that night. Jack was a deeply valued member and imparted much knowledge to the group, gaining much knowledge in return. He considered the group to be one of the highlights of his life.
Jack was a remarkably fit and healthy man his whole life and people were often shocked to learn his age. Jack was a profoundly caring, generous man, a top notch story teller, and it was apparent to everyone who met him that he was truly a special, one of a kind man. He was the Patriarch of our family and will be dearly missed and always remembered.