March 14, 1936 - December 3, 2014
James Edward Swink, Sr. was born March 14, 1936 in Sacul, Texas. He passed away at his home on December 3, 2014. He was preceded in death by his parents Curtis J. and Allie Mae Swink, his foster parents Obie and Grace Walker, and one sister Rosemary Sandlin. He is survived by his wife, Jeanie, three sons: Jed Swink of Flint, Texas, Dan Swink and Charlie Swink both of Santa Monica, California, granddaughter Heather Eiland and her husband Clay of Tyler, grandson Sam Swink of Flint, and two great-grandchildren: Sophia Eiland and Theodore Eiland. He is also survived by sisters Mary Crump of Copper Canyon, Texas, Wilene Shuptrine of Rockwall, Texas, Vera English of Woodway, Texas, and Ann Phillips and husband George of Danbury, Texas, one brother Joe Swink of Fountain, Colorado, and "his boys" Ian Chandler and Alan Goss. Dr. Swink graduated from Rusk High School, Texas Christian University, Southwestern Medical School, and later the TCU Ranch Management Program. After finishing medical school, he practiced general medicine in Tyler for three years before being drafted. Following his discharge from the army, Dr. Swink entered the orthopedic residency program at Scott and White in Temple. Upon completion of his residency, Dr. Swink returned to Ft. Worth where he practiced orthopedics for 35 years - 18 of those with his partner and close friend Dr. Charles Renshaw, a TCU classmate. Jim was a member of the International Board of Orthopedic Surgeons, the Texas Medical Association, and the Tarrant County Medical Association. After having a stroke in April, 2006, Dr. Swink moved back to his beloved East Texas, and in 2009 returned to the practice of general medicine in the medical clinic at Rusk State Hospital retiring in September 2014. In high school, James, as he was known then, was an outstanding athlete excelling in both basketball and football. He was selected to the Texas High School All-Star Basketball Team his senior year and was named the game's MVP. He was named to the all-district team in both football and basketball and the all-state football team. He was offered football scholarships by numerous universities finally deciding upon TCU after meeting Coach Abe Martin. While at TCU, Jim was selected to the All SWC team, was an Academic All-American, winner of the Swede Swenson Sportsmanship Award, and appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show as a member of the1955 Look All American Football Team when he led the nation in scoring and rushing and was runner-up for the Heisman Trophy. He was later inducted into the TCU Letterman's Hall of Fame, The College Football Hall of Fame, The Texas Sports Hall of Fame, the Southwest Conference Hall of Fame, and the Cotton Bowl Hall of Fame. In 1989, he was recognized by TCU with the Royal Purple Award, and in 2005, he was honored to receive the Doak Walker Legends Award. He was selected to be the first Rusk graduate to be named to the Wall of Honor in 2003 and was designated an Outstanding Texan by the Rusk Industrial Foundation in 2012. He was honored by the Cherokee County Heritage Museum at a gala in April 2014. In October of 2014, the Rusk football field was named Jim Swink Field at Eagle Stadium. Of all his many awards and accomplishments, Jim was especially proud of his service as a medical doctor in Vietnam where he received both the Bronze Star and Purple Heart. Accounts of his military service in Vietnam can be found in the Library of Congress and in the R. W.Norton Art Foundation Oral History Project in Shreveport, Louisiana. Jim felt privileged to continue the legacy of his foster father Obie Walker by becoming a Mason and a Shriner. Jim thoroughly enjoyed his prominence and success but never forgot the lessons his dad instilled in him: first and foremost, to be a good man. Then always get back on a horse when thrown. He loved challenges whether they were on the football field, in a surgical suite, or plotting verbal comebacks when someone actually managed to top him. In college, he planned to be a geologist, but between his junior and senior year in college, he felt called to practice medicine. When Jim was asked during his admission interview at Southwestern Medical School how he was going to compete against students who were academically better prepared than he was, Jim replied, " I will just work harder than they do." Even though medicine was his passion, there was always a special place in his heart for the land and ranching. Nothing rejuvenated him as much as working on the land and caring for his cows especially his herd of pampered Brangus. Jim's character and determination were truly tested in 2006 when he suffered a major stroke. The same qualities and strengths that had earned the respect and admiration of so many and had made him a hero on the football field and in Vietnam made him even more of a hero to those around him. He handled the setbacks and disappointments with humor, grace, dignity, and courage and never once wavered in his determination to live his life to the fullest and to continue to be a contributing member of society. Thanks to Dr. Glen Bixler for his care, guidance, and patience following Jim's 2006 stroke. Also special thanks to Dr. Ariele Lee, Tyler Hematology and Oncology, and her office staff, Dr. Mark Morris of ETMC Rusk, Dr. Alex Petrakian, Tyler Cardiovascular Associates, Dr. Stephen Sigal, Sigal Heart Center, and to all the doctors at Tyler Nephrology. A very special thank you to the wonderful staff at Fresenia Dialysis in Jacksonville, Texas. Services will be held 2:00 PM Sunday, December 7th, 2014 at the First United Methodist Church in Rusk, Texas with Rev. Jacob Smith officiating. Reception to follow service. Burial will be at the National Cemetery in Grand Prairie, Texas on Tuesday, December 9th, 2014 at 1:15 PM. If attending, use lane B. Visitation will be from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., Saturday, December 6, 2014 at the funeral home. Pallbearers will include Arlis Corley, Alan Goss, Robert Grogan, Charles Hassell, Keith Kennedy, Ernest Hudnall, James "Bubba" Jared, Jeff Johnson, Clay Jones, George Phillips, Travis Sessions, Robert Shattuck, Ray Taylor and Don Woodward. Honorary pallbearers will be Pat Velasco, Marie Whitehead, Joe Williams, Hugh Pitts, Norman Hamilton, Joe Allison, Kenneth Simmons, Wayne Hardy and Harlan Crawford. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Jim Swink Scholarship Fund, ℅ Rusk High School Alumni Association, PO Box 711, Rusk, Texas 75785, or the charity of your choice.
James Edward Swink, Sr. was born March 14, 1936 in Sacul, Texas. He passed away at his home on December 3, 2014. He was preceded in death by his parents Curtis J. and Allie Mae Swink, his foster parents Obie and Grace Walker, and one sister... View Obituary & Service Information
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