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Billy C. Swofford

Billy  C.  Swofford Billy Chet Swofford died Friday, November 20, 2020 in Manhattan, KS. He was preceded in death by his parents, Chester and Evelyn (Bright) Swofford. Billy was born on September 29, 1936 in Ray County Missouri. He is survived by his wife, Mary Jane (Noll) Swofford; a son, Mark Swofford (Deann) of Olathe, KS; a daughter, Kelly Stephens (Jim) of Overbrook, KS; and a sister, Judith Swofford of Prairie Village, KS. He is also survived by his grandchildren: Abby Rhodes, Columbia MO; Kristen (Justin)) Keller, Platte City, MO; Morgan Swofford, Leavenworth, KS; Aaron Swofford, Ottawa, KS; Emily Stephens, Kansas City, MO, and two great-grandchildren, Felix and Margot Hudson of Columbia, MO.

Billy attended many schools across the midwest until as a sophomore his parents bought a farm near Richmond, MO. In high school, Billy took part in every sport offered. He was first baseman for several teams, quarterback for Richmond football team, and guard on the basketball team. He continued to play on softball teams til in his 40’s. He was elected to many organizations and offices. He attended Boys State in 1953; was a member of Band, yearbook editor, Key Club, DeMolay, and represented Richmond at a National Key Club convention. He won a National Honor Society scholarship and entered the University of Missouri the next Fall. While there he and Jane were married and their children were born. He received a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering.

The Boeing Airplane Company of Wichita interviewed him just before graduation and offered him employment as a Technical Writer. The family moved to the suburb of Derby where he was soon coaching a Little League baseball team. After joining the Derby Jaycees, he became interested in city government and was elected to three two-year terms as City Councilman, and was named President of the Council. During this time he was active in Jaycees and served as President of the Derby Jaycees, State Vice President, State Treasurer, and State Chaplain. He was an ordained Elder and Trustee of the First Presbyterian Church of Derby; taught Sunday school, sang in the choir and served as liturgist at Sunday services for several years. After their children were in college, Jane and Bill moved to a home with five acres of land, outside the city limits of Derby. They had two stocked ponds, fruit trees, pecan trees, and Bill had his much desired huge garden. Billy was promoted to many positions over his 32 years with Boeing. At his retirement, he was Program Manager of B-52 Systems. He took early retirement at 55. He and Jane bought a home on the City Lake of Council Grove, KS. He continued to serve his community by spending most days maintaining several miles of roadway on one side of the lake and planting flower beds at four entrances to the park. He devoted more than 15 years and three John Deere tractors to this labor of love. They moved into town in 2002, where he created several large beds of hybrid daylilys and a large vegetable garden, keeping the local Senior Center well stocked. In 2016, they moved to an Independent Living cottage at Meadowlark Hills in Manhattan, where they both enjoyed the activities and new friends.

He always enjoyed hunting pheasant and quail with his father from a very young age and continued the tradition of an annual trip to NW Kansas with family and friends for forty years.

He never willingly missed a chance to donate blood since college days and was happy to know that the American Red Cross came regularly to Meadowlark. He was so pleased that he was able to reach the 23 gallon donor milestone while living there. He was a cherished husband, father and grandfather and will be sadly missed by his family.

At his behest, there will be no public service. Memorials suggested to The Meadowlark Foundation to benefit the Good Samaritan Fund in care of the Yorgensen-Meloan-Londeen Funeral Home 1616 Poyntz Avenue, Manhattan, Kansas 66502.

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