Kennith Ray Swinford, age 87, passed away on Thursday, March 10, 2022 in Plano, Texas. Funeral services will be on Sunday, March 13, 2022 at 3:00 p.m. at Sam B. Harvey Funeral Home Chapel. Visitation will be one hour prior to service from 2:00 - 3:00 p.m. Interment will be at the Mount Vernon City Cemetery. The service will be officiated by Brother Neal Cochran. Danny Christenberry will officiate the graveside service, where Larry Neal and Tracie Smith will provide music.
Born in Saltillo, Texas during the Great Depression, Ken was raised on the Gault Ranch in Franklin County. After graduating from Mount Vernon High School in 1951 at the age of 16, he worked in the oilfields of New Mexico for three years before deciding to pursue a career in broadcasting. Drawing on his resonant voice and winning personality, Ken trained as a radio announcer and was a successful disc jockey in several markets in both Kansas and Texas. In 1959, he married his sweetheart, Linda Weatherford, and together they built a faith-focused life and raised a family.
Ken worked in contractor sales for the DeFord Lumber Co. for several years, and in the early 1970s branched out into residential construction. In 1980, after nearly 10 years of building houses, Ken became a vocational education teacher for the Mount Vernon Independent School District, a position he proudly held until his retirement in 1996. Ken was gratified to share his expertise with a new generation of students interested in the construction trades. In 2013, he was inducted into the Franklin County Schools’ League of Honor, which each year recognizes one former student and one former employee whose lives exemplify positive accomplishments and contributions to society.
A prolific storyteller throughout his life, Ken wrote a Western-themed novel, In This Earth and In Heaven, which was published in 2010 by Sunstone Press.
He is survived by his wife of 62 years, Linda Weatherford of Mt. Vernon; his daughter, Holly Swinford of Mesquite, Texas; his son, Kenny Swinford of Talco, Texas; his sister, Katheryn Joy DeBusk and husband John DeBusk Jr. of Mt. Vernon; nephew, John J. DeBusk and wife Geralyn Maher DeBusk of Sulphur Springs; as well as sisters-in-law Jean Teague, Elaine and Zack Adams, Betty and Glen Zachary; Brothers-in-law Lex Weatherford, Ricky and Judy Weatherford; and numerous nieces and nephews.
He is preceded in death by his parents, Colquitte Austin (C.A.) Swinford and Gladys Mae Swinford of Mt. Vernon; and his niece, Debbie Lynn DeBusk of Mt. Vernon. Also, his father-in-law and mother-in-law, H. H. and Mary Lou Weatherford; sister-in-law, Martha Newsome; and brothers-in-law, Frankie Newsome, Grady Teague and Rex Weatherford.
Services entrusted to Sam B. Harvey Funeral Home.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Kennith Ray Swinford, please visit our floral store.