George Swisher Obituary

Service Information

 
In Memory of

George William Swisher Jr.

August 18, 1930 - May 31, 2012
Obituary

GEORGE WILLIAM "BILL" SWISHER, JR. PASSED AWAY PEACEFULLY AT HOME AFTER A LENGTHY ILLNESS ON MAY 31, 2012. BILL, A THIRD GENERATION OKLAHOMAN, WAS BORN IN OKLAHOMA CITY ON AUGUST 18, 1930 TO GEORGE WILLIAM SWISHER, SR. AND MARY TIPTON SWISHER FLANAGAN. BILL'S CHILDHOOD WAS NOT LIKE MOST OKLAHOMANS. WHEN HE WAS FIVE YEARS OLD HIS PARENTS DIVORCED AND HE GREW UP ALTERNATING SCHOOL YEARS BETWEEN OKLAHOMA CITY AND LEXINGTON KENTUCKY, WHERE HIS MOTHER RESIDED. SHORTLY AFTER HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATION, BILL ENLISTED AND SERVED HIS COUNTRY FOR TWO YEARS IN THE KOREAN WAR AS A PETTY OFFICER IN THE SECOND NAVAL CONSTRUCTION BATTALION....
GEORGE WILLIAM "BILL" SWISHER, JR. PASSED AWAY PEACEFULLY AT HOME AFTER A LENGTHY ILLNESS ON MAY 31, 2012. BILL, A THIRD GENERATION OKLAHOMAN, WAS BORN IN OKLAHOMA CITY ON AUGUST 18, 1930 TO GEORGE WILLIAM SWISHER, SR. AND MARY TIPTON SWISHER FLANAGAN. BILL'S CHILDHOOD WAS NOT LIKE MOST OKLAHOMANS. WHEN HE WAS FIVE YEARS OLD HIS PARENTS DIVORCED AND HE GREW UP ALTERNATING SCHOOL YEARS BETWEEN OKLAHOMA CITY AND LEXINGTON KENTUCKY, WHERE HIS MOTHER RESIDED. SHORTLY AFTER HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATION, BILL ENLISTED AND SERVED HIS COUNTRY FOR TWO YEARS IN THE KOREAN WAR AS A PETTY OFFICER IN THE SECOND NAVAL CONSTRUCTION BATTALION. DURING HIS SERVICE IN THE NAVY, BILL'S INNOVATIVE ABILITY CAME TO LIFE WITH HIS FIRST INVENTION OF THE RAILROAD CAR OFF LOADER, WHICH BECAME STANDARD MACHINERY FOR NAVAL OPERATIONS AT THE TIME. RETURNING TO OKLAHOMA CITY AFTER THE WAR, HE BEGAN WHAT WOULD ENTAIL AN AMAZING CAREER AND FUTURE. BILL AND HIS FATHER PURCHASED WYLIE STEWART MACHINERY COMPANY ON EXCHANGE AVENUE. SHORTLY AFTER, BILL MET HIS FUTURE WIFE, WANDA YOUNG, A STUDENT NURSE CARING FOR BILL'S GRANDMOTHER. BILL AND WANDA MARRIED ON JULY 2, 1954. IN 1964, BILL INVENTED THE "AUTO-GRADE", A TECHNOLOGY WHICH CHANGED THE WORLD'S METHOD OF PAVING ROADS. WITH THIS IN HAND, BILL PROCEEDED ON HIS OWN AND FOUNDED CMI CORPORATION, A COMPANY THAT BECAME A WORLDWIDE LEADER IN THE MANUFACTURING OF HIGHLY INNOVATIVE ROAD PAVING EQUIPMENT. BILL WAS A NATURAL BORN INVENTOR WITH OVER 50 PATENTS REGISTERED IN HIS NAME. ON DECEMBER 24, 1968, CMI PUBLICLY LISTED ITS STOCK ON THE AMERICAN STOCK EXCHANGE AND LATER LISTED ON THE NYSE. BILL'S MANAGEMENT STYLE WAS BUILT ON BEING TOUGH BUT FAIR AND HE ALWAYS LED WITH INTEGRITY. AT THE COMPANY'S PEAK, CMI EMPLOYED OVER 2000 PEOPLE GLOBALLY. AFTER 38 YEARS, BILL RETIRED AS CEO AND CHAIRMAN WHEN CMI SOLD TO TEREX CORPORATION. HIS LOVE FOR OKLAHOMA CITY WAS WELL EXEMPLIFIED BY HIS ADMIRABLE LEADERSHIP IN NUMEROUS CIVIC ORGANIZATIONS. BILL SERVED AT THE HIGHEST LEVELS OF THE BOY SCOUTS OF AMERICA, WHERE HE WAS THE RECIPIENT OF ITS THREE TOP HONORS, THE SILVER BEAVER, THE SILVER ANTELOPE AND SCOUT'S HIGHEST HONOR THE SILVER BUFFALO. HE WAS PAST PRESIDENT OF THE LAST FRONTIER COUNCIL, PRESIDENT OF THE OKLAHOMA AREA COUNCIL AND PRESIDENT OF THE SOUTH CENTRAL REGION. BILL WAS SELECTED TO THE NATIONAL EXECUTIVE BOARD FOR THE BOY SCOUTS IN 1985 AND SERVED AS CHAIRMAN OF THE 1989 NATIONAL JAMBOREE COMMITTEE. HE SERVED AS PRESIDENT OF THE OKC CHAMBER OF COMMERCE, PRESIDENT OF THE OKLAHOMA STATE CHAMBER, PRESIDENT OF COMMITTEE OF 100, CO-CHAIRMAN OF THE UNITED WAY ANNUAL CAMPAIGN AND CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES OF MERCY HEALTH CENTER. HE ALSO SERVED AS A DIRECTOR FOR THE OKLAHOMA CITY ALLIED ARTS FOUNDATION, AND THE BOARD OF VISITORS OF THE COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING AT THE UNIVERSITY OF OKLAHOMA. HE WAS A MEMBER OF THE FORTUNE CLUB, QUEENSBURY CLUB AND OKLAHOMA CITY GOLF AND COUNTRY CLUB. HE SERVED AS KING OF THE BEAUX ARTS BALL IN 1988 AND CHAIRMAN OF THE STATE FAIR OF OKLAHOMA. BILL SERVED AS A DIRECTOR OF THE OKLAHOMA MEDICAL RESEARCH FOUNDATION (OMRF) FOR 35 YEARS AND WAS NAMED A LIFE MEMBER TO THE BOARD. BILL WAS INDUCTED INTO THE OKLAHOMA HERITAGE HALL OF FAME IN 1996. BILL HAD MANY CORPORATE AFFILIATIONS SUCH AS DIRECTOR OF OKLAHOMA GAS & ELECTRIC FOR 22 YEARS, DIRECTOR OF TRIP (THE ROAD INFORMATION PROGRAM), ADVISORY BOARD OF THE FEDERAL RESERVE BANK, MEMBER BOARD OF TRUSTEES FOR THE NATIONAL ASPHALT PAVING ASSOCIATION EDUCATIONAL FOUNDATION AT AUBURN UNIVERSITY, DIRECTOR AND EXECUTIVE BOARD MEMBER OF THE AMERICAN ROAD & TRANSPORTATION BUILDER ASSOCIATION, THE AMERICAN TRANSPORTATION ADVISORY COUNCIL, THE INTERNATIONAL ROAD FEDERATION, AND A BOARD MEMBER OF UNITED STATES PATENT AND TRADEMARK ADVISORY COUNCIL AND AS A MEMBER OF THE US DISTRICT TRADE & EXPORT ADVISORY COMMITTEE. BILL ALSO RECEIVED THE FOLLOWING HONORS AND AWARDS: THE CONSTRUCTION EQUIPMENT HALL OF FAME (INAUGURAL YEAR), OKLAHOMA COMMERCE & INDUSTRY HALL OF FAME, THE OKLAHOMA COUNTY PATHMAKERS AWARD, AND THE SILVER HARD HAT AWARD BY THE CONSTRUCTION WRITERS ASSOCIATION. BILL WAS A TRUE CONSERVATIVE AND PROPONENT OF FREE ENTERPRISE AND AMERICAN EXCEPTIONALISM. BILL MET WITH MANY US PRESIDENTS SUCH AS REAGAN, FORD, BUSH 41 AND BUSH 43. PRESIDENT FORD REQUESTED THAT BILL AND A SMALL GROUP OF USA LEADERS SPEND A FEW DAYS ABOARD THE "STEAMBOAT NATCHEZ" PLANNING THE FORD RE-ELECTION CAMPAIGN. BILL WAS ASKED TO HOST THE CHAIRMAN OF THE JOINT CHIEFS OF STAFF ADMIRAL CROWE IN MEETING WITH THEIR COUNTER PARTS IN THE SOVIET UNION MILITARY IN 1989 AT THE SWISHER FARM. THE PURPOSE WAS TO SHOW TO THE SOVIETS THAT THE USA WAS FAR AHEAD IN MILITARY TECHNOLOGY AND POWER. BILL'S LIFE WAS FILLED WITH MANY PROFESSIONAL AND CIVIC ACHIEVEMENTS; HOWEVER HIS MOST MEMORABLE MOMENTS WERE SPENT WITH HIS WIFE AND FAMILY. BILL WAS PREDECEASED BY HIS PARENTS, GEORGE WILLIAM SWISHER AND GENEVIEVE, HIS MOTHER MARY FLANAGAN AND STEPFATHER JOSEPH FLANAGAN, SISTER, MARYANNE GREEN, AND HIS YOUNGEST AND BELOVED SON CHRISTOPHER LEE SWISHER. BILL IS SURVIVED BY THE LOVE OF HIS LIFE, WANDA YOUNG SWISHER AND CHILDREN, GEORGE WILLIAM SWISHER III AND WIFE SHELLEY, THANE SWISHER AND WIFE JILL, KYLE MARK SWISHER AND WIFE MICHELE, STUART ANN SWISHER AND HER HUSBAND, MICHAEL F. MCGEHEE, KELLY SWISHER MCLAIN AND HUSBAND CHARLES, LANE SCOTT SWISHER AND WIFE JENNIFER AND BY THOSE WHO KNEW HIM AS PAPA; HIS 14 "PERFECT" GRANDCHILDREN LORI, KATHRYN, ELIZABETH AND G. W. SWISHER IV, NATALIE SWISHER BUNDS, ALEX AND MEGAN SWISHER, HUNT, ERIN AND RYAN SWISHER, JENNIFER, WILL, MARK AND TAYLOR MCLAIN, AND HIS EXTENDED CMI FAMILY. THE FAMILY IS FOREVER GRATEFUL TO DENISE YARBROUGH, LORI HALEY AND ANGELA CARTWRIGHT FOR THEIR LOVING CARE. THESE THREE CAREGIVERS WENT ABOVE AND BEYOND THE CALL OF DUTY. FUNERAL SERVICES WILL BE HELD AT WESTMINSTER PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH, 4400 NORTH SHARTEL, ON TUESDAY, JUNE 5, 2012 AT 2.OO PM. INTERMENT TO FOLLOW AT ROSE HILL BURIAL PARK. VISITAION WILL BE MONDAY, JUNE 4, 2012 FROM 8A.M. TO 8P.M. AT HAHN-COOK/STREET & DRAPER. IN LIEU OF FLOWERS, THE FAMILY ASKS THAT MEMORIAL CONTRIBUTIONS BE MADE TO LAST FRONTIER COUNCIL OF THE BOY SCOUTS OF AMERICA, 3031 NORTHWEST 64TH, OKLAHOMA CITY, OK, 73116; OKLAHOMA MEDICAL RESEARH FOUNDATION, 825 NE 13 ST, 73104 OR THE CHILDRENS CENTER, 6800 NW 39TH EXPRESSWAY, BETHANY, OK 73008.

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"God bless my Uncle Bill, proud to be his sister Maryanne's youngest daughter, his youngest niece, Saralee Claire (Swisher) Green. May he and my mama..." Saralee Claire (Swisher) Green (Houston, TX)

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