John Cecil “J.C.” McSwain, 87, of Center
John Cecil “J.C” McSwain, 87, of Center, Texas, passed away on July 3, 2019 in Shreveport, Louisiana. He was born on January 18, 1932 in Center, Texas to James Roscoe McSwain and Evie Lee Dean McSwain. Funeral services will be at 4:00 PM on Saturday, July 6, 2019 at Mangum Funeral Home with Bro. Charles Williams and Bro. Son Windham officiating. Interment will follow at Old Salem Cemetery. A visitation will be held from 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM on Friday, July 5, 2019 at Mangum Funeral Home.
Being raised in the sand hills of Old Salem, J. C. “braded grass burrs”, drank from the underground streams, and learn’t the life lesson of hard work and how your word is worth gold or not worth a nickle! He knew how to make a “bee line” and “bite the bullet”. He could most definitely make a deal with money “to boot” and listen for the word that was “straight from the mouth” but most of all you better “buckle down and hang on”. Of course there was times when Moma would have a “burr under her saddle” and pull a “hissy fit”. Well you sure better watch out for ole’ so & so because he was a “snake in the grass”. Probably one of my daddy’s favorites would be how he “could squeeze a quarter so tight the eagle screams”. You better be careful though because if you didn’t manage your business “you would not have a pot or a window”. Did you hear what I said ---Well “get your head out of your behind”. Another thing Daddy said many times was “he couldn’t find his butt with both hands”!
Many times you were “grinnin’ like a possum or watch out because you might be “dumb as a stump”!
You probably put your “britches” on like everyone else but you better not be “highfalutin” because before you know it you would be “fixin” to get “whupped”. Well that sounded a little “uppity” and “plumb” stupid. One day when I was about 5, I thought that I could “skedaddle” quickly and outrun daddy and not “mind” his order; but, he caught me and “toreup” my bottom while “laughin” because I had run like a “jackrabbit”.
Our daddy will be missed by so many and there are no words to express the love we had for him and the loss we feel without him. We are so thankful for the example that he was as our mentor. So many things that could be said but none are sufficient to express the emptiness that his sudden departure has caused. However, the Lord will heal our hearts because as we look back over these past few months, He has been preparing us for this moment. We thank each of you for your kind offering of kindness in so many different ways and the comfort that it gives to my Mom, Tonya, Stacey, Roscoe and myself just to know that he has impacted your life also.
Once J. C. got to school age he attended Camp Worth, Jericho and Tabernacle schools in the sandhills of South Jericho. He said that his teacher had three grades in the same room and that although she tried really hard, it was just too difficult to teach that many kids at the same time. Being bashful, he got behind in school and never was able to catchup. Therefore, he quit school and told his moma that “she could beat him “ever” day but he was not going back because it was too embarrassing that he could not read or write well enough. It was always kind of painful to hear him say that to me because I could see just how much he had accomplished with hard work and perseverance.
He peddled watermelons with his daddy and told about hiding his 3-4 dollars under the melons while sleeping in the cab of the pickup until morning hoping a robber would not attack him. By the time he was 18, he had a couple mules and before dawn he would leave the house, walk through the woods with “the hair standing up on the back of his neck” and log all day for Frost Lumber Company. He did this for a while and then he caught a ride to West Texas and tried “pickin” cotton but that was still not “gettin” him anywhere. He also drove trucks across the country for a year or so. With just $10 he got from pawning his Daddy’s watch, (of which he told the broker that he better not sell that watch because he would be back to get it!) he bought a few candy bars and with the help of Mr. Bradshaws wife’s sandwiches he had enough to last him for two weeks and he started to work with a seismograph company. He really enjoyed the work but missed East Texas. Returning to his roots, the legacy J.C. McSwain began. Daddy worked for Atlas Hardwood (Bruce Hardwood) from 1957-1968 and then Temple stole him away with a contract that lasted from 1968-2010.
During these years he has been blessed to have a faithful wife, Venorah McSwain, of 63 years. Together they worked hard on the job and on the home front. They raised 4 children. Daddy enjoyed raising cattle, bowling, playing 42 dominoes, baseball and football and some good bluegrass music. Most of all he loved makin’ a good deal that was fair and honest. Nothing pleased him more than Sunday dinners with all his family especially his grandkids and great-grandkids.
Daddy was also blessed with employees such as J.C. Boykins of 45 years and Ad Lee Watts of 35 years. J. C. always worked with a work ethic surpassed by none and a computer mind that could remember every tract of timber, amount of minerals and land he owned and that other people owned. Amazing! I’d say, “Daddy we need to go find the corners of that tract”, and he would say, “Well the northeast corner is marked with paint and is on a large white oak, the southeast corner is marked by a cypress-kind of in a swamp and you can find it because I marked it “5” years ago”. “Oh yea, don’t you go down there in the spring when the snakes are out. Send Roscoe! Those rattle snakes and moccasins will get you”! HaHa!! How did he do it?
He would never brag on himself but we will do it for him. He never wanted attention and could never be convinced that he was smart enough to do whatever he wanted. My most precious memory is when I lead my Dad in the sinner’s prayer and saw him be baptized at the age of 77. What a blessing. He will be missed more than words can express. It is now our duty to continue on with the upstanding life standards that he displayed.
Love you daddy,
“Our family is like a quilt, stitched together with love. A little frayed but will withstand the storm”.
“Heaven gained a new perspective for me, when one I love so dearly made it his home”.
“He was my Father, Best Friend, and Mentor, but we will be together again”.
“I loved you more than words can say. Always have, always will”.
“Your life was a blessing, your memory a treasure, your loved and missed beyond measure”.
J.C. is survived by:
Venorah Ann Williams McSwain
Cecilia McSwain Boles and husband, Ken
Tonya McSwain Andrews and husband, George
Stacey McSwain and wife, Tammy
Brother-in-law: Clark Paul Williams and wife, Tina
Anna Boles Lee and husband, Justin
Emma Boles Whitehead and husband, Carl
Bradley Andrews and wife, Mindy
John Andrews and wife, Alyssa
Machael McSwain and husband, Jami
Daniel McSwain and wife, Brittany
Ashton McSwain Askew and husband, John
Roscoe McSwain, Jr. and wife, Ronna
Cole Milford and wife, Mallory
He is preceded in death by infant daughter, Debbie McSwain who passed in 1958; parents, James Roscoe McSwain and Evie Lee Dean McSwain; brother, James Lee McSwain and sisters, Ivy Joy Hribal and Marye Danley.
Pallbearers are Ken Boles, George Andrews, Bradley Andrews, John Andrews, Daniel McSwain, Cecil McSwain, Roscoe McSwain, Jr., Colton McSwain, Casey Milford and Cole Milford.
Honorary pallbearers are Joseph Caldwell, Clark Paul “Zig” Williams, Howard Sparks, Steve Watts, Rowdy Danley, Larry Berg, William Caldwell and Kelly McSwain.
The family is being served by Mangum Funeral Home in Center. To send condolences or to sign an online register, please visit www.mangumfh.net.