Judge James Mayes Swiggart, Sr. passed away peacefully Thursday, April 25, 2013 in the caring hands of his son and the staff at Woodcrest at Blakeford. Known to his family, friends and peers as Jimmy or Judge, he left this life with his inimitable smile and grace still remembered by all. Judge Swiggart was born on September 23, 1921 in Nashville, Tennessee to Katherine and William H. Swiggart, Jr. He was preceded in death by his wife of fifty nine years, Dorothy Ann Seward Swiggart, sister Kathryn Elizabeth Pilcher and brother Charles Perry (Peter) Swiggart. He is survived by his son, James Mayes (Jim) Swiggart, Jr., daughter-in-law, Stacy Sue Swiggart, granddaughter, Kylee Ann Swiggart, grandson James Loran Swiggart of Steamboat Springs, Colorado and brother William Harris Swiggart, III. Also surviving Judge Swiggart is family friend and care giver, Debra Carter. Judge Swiggart graduated from Duncan College Preparatory School, received his BA from Vanderbilt University and his law degree from the University of Virginia. As one of America’s greatest generation, Judge Swiggart flew the F4U dive bomber for the United States Navy during World War II and was a proud member of the Tailhook Association. For his actions, he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal with one Gold Star and one Silver Star. After a prominent career in private law practice, then Tennessee Governor Frank G. Clement appointed Barrister Swiggart to the newly created Sixth Circuit Court. He served as judge of this court for twenty three years from 1966 to 1989 through two reelections, both unanimously supported by the Nashville and Tennessee Bar Associations. Judge Swiggart served as the President of the Tennessee Judicial Conference, President of the Cumberland Club and the Nashville Exchange Club (now the Economic Club of Nashville), Board Chair of the Monteagle Sunday School Assembly and on the Board of the Mid-South American Automobile Association (AAA). He served as a deacon and elder for the First Presbyterian Church Franklin Road and as Chair on the Residents Board at Blakeford at Green Hills.
Tennessee Senate Resolution 256 celebrating his retirement in 1989 summarized Judge Swiggart’s contributions to the court stating Swiggart was “a man of fiercely held and defended principles”, “outspoken proponent for civil procedures…now governing the course and conduct of statewide litigation” and “widely renowned for his wry sense of humor who, when entertaining the idea of retirement in 1985, was met with a petition from over 100 lawyers asking him to remain”. “Through Judge Swiggart’s pursuit of truth and justice, he erected an indelible legacy of intelligence and integrity as a jurist whose career will stand as a testament to the most inviolate tenets of jurisprudence for generations to come”.
A visitation will be held at the Cheek House at the 1st Presbyterian Church on Franklin Road Friday, May 3, 12:00 PM to 1:45 PM followed by a service at Standford Chapel at 2:00 PM. Interment will follow at Woodlawn Memorial Park.
At the family’s request, please make donations to Monteagle Sunday School Assembly, PO Box 307, Monteagle, Tennessee, 37356, Winfield Fund or Capital Fund.
Woodlawn Roesch-Patton Funeral Home and Memorial Park, 660 Thompson Lane, Nashville, TN 37204, 615-383-4754.