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James Thurlon McSwain was know to his closest Alabama family as Thurlon. He was the oldest of all my McSwain related cousins. Thurlon and Mary Lois were good friends of my parents, Orvel and Christie McSwain, so I occasionally saw them, and sons Mike and Tony, while they lived in the Gardendale AL area. Thurlon’s National Guard career turned out to have a critical impact on my life. With his help, I enlisted in the National Guard in 1969 during the Viet Nam War. I have always owed him a debt of gratitude because that enabled me to pursue a career in Georgia while I served in the guard. Shortly after enlistment, I was hired by what was then the Georgia Game and Fish Commission and have lived in Georgia ever since. Thurlon and I reconnected in late 1970s while we were both working in Atlanta. We had lunch occasionally and became closer friends as we shared stories about working for the “government.” I had great admiration for him then (and now) because I knew how far he had come from growing up on that dirt road in Crane Hill Alabama. While Thurlon and Mary Lois were living in McDonogh GA, Luenett and I moved to Buford, then to Covington in the early 1990s. After that, we had dinner every so often with them. Thurlon had a lot of different life experiences and was always an interesting, and often witty conversationist. Mary Lois was always a joy to be around. Her death brought great sorrow to us all. After Mary Lois’ death, Thurlon and I maintain regular contact, often by phone conversations in which he always asked about my children, Sean and Lisa, and was particularly interested in hearing about them after both joined the military. He was very proud of both Tony and Mike and was quick to update me about them. I met Irene only a few times but I do remember Thurlon telling me about her with great enthusiasm when they first met. We talked less frequently as time passed but I did visit him a couple of times while he was in the senior living facilities in Cullman, and we talked once or twice after he moved to Florida to be near Mike. I regret that our conversations were not more frequent these last couple of years. Thurlon was an influential part of my life. He was someone whose character and success I admired and wanted to emulate. As we both grew older, he went from being a McSwain cousin to a friend whom I loved and who I will miss. May the mercy and grace of God allow us to meet again. Lawrence McSwain October 12, 2023
Oh and..... WDE!!!
I met Jim in 2019 and can honestly say I never knew him to have a bad day. He smiled big to everyone, cracked jokes to make folks laugh and loved every minute of life. My fondest memory will always be talking to Jim about Alabama... I have no personal ties to Alabama but recently fell in love with the state. Jim and I would spend hours talking about Alabama and all of our adventures there. You are loved and will be missed tremendously by many.
Another fond memory i moved to atlanta to be with mom and dad within a week at a braves game eatig hot dogs behind home plate dripping mustard onour shirts
As an adult in 2011 dad had moved just north of gulf shores on my routine travels on business i mapped a way to go see him we ended up on the beach where we rated the bikinis walking by i put my arms around him and said i never thought we coyld ever do this he chuckled and said im proud of you
Jim was a kind, caring, thoughtful friend, and I am so blessed to have had him in my life. I loved him dearly, and I will treasure all our wonderful memories we shared!I know he is at peace in heaven with our Savior, and his friends and family. I pray for peace, love, comfort, and faith for his family.All my love, Diane Duffy
James "Jim" Thurlon McSwain
James (Jim) Thurlon McSwain, age 88 of Fernandina Beach, Florida passed away on October 3rd, 2023. Born on November 30th, 1934 in Cullman Alabama to (the late) Odis L. McSwain and Lullie E. McSwain.
A Son, Husband, Father, Grandfather and Great Grandfather, who woke up every morning ready to live, learn and share. He was gentle, but tough as nails when warranted, probably from his humble upbringing and experience in the Military. He could build deep relationships with young and old alike and was one of the best communicators we’ve ever known.
His life experiences included owning and operating a small general store, gas station and café, retired Army, Army Reservist and National Guard, was Comptroller for the U.S. Army and oversaw the budget for all expenditures for the Continental United States. He loved coaching little league football and playing golf, which he took up later in life. He was passionate about his family, his work and Alabama Football. Jim always had time for a great story or joke when he had an attentive audience. Oh yeah, did I say he was a flirt too? He was indeed!
Jim was a great man and the best example of a Father a son could have. He will be missed by all he came to know, but more important, he will be remembered.
Jim McSwain was preceded in death by his wife of 52 years, Mary Lois McSwain. Survivors include his current wife of ten years, Irene Grimmett McSwain of Cullman Alabama; sons Michael (Shuri) McSwain of Fernandina Beach, Florida; Tony McSwain of McDonough, Georgia; Grandchildren; Lindsey, Jenifer, Sean and Tiffany. Great Grandchildren; Jackson, Ella, Grey, Banks, Kari and Madison. Many nieces and nephews.
Grave side services will be conducted at the Eastlawn Memorial Park in McDonough, Georgia and at the Mt. Hope Baptist Church, Crane Hill, Alabama. Dates to be determined on both.
Rather than flowers Jim asked that donations be made in His memory to: Community Hospice & Palliative Care https://thefoundationcares.org/
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OXLEY-HEARD FUNERAL DIRECTORS