Ross McSwain Obituary

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In Memory of

Ross Francis McSwain

Obituary

Ross F. McSwain, 82, well known West Texas newspaper columnist, author and historian died on November 2, 2012 at Shannon Hospital after a short illness. Family visitation will be from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM Sunday November 4,2012 at Johnson's Funeral Home. Funeral services will be held 2:00 PM Monday at College Hills Baptist Church with burial in Lawnhaven Memorial Gardens. The Rev. Lakan Mariano, pastor of College Hills Baptist Church will officiate, assisted by the Rev. Travis Monday, chaplain of San Angelo Community Medical Center and Rev. Monte Jones, retired Episcopal priest. Mr. McSwain, a resident of San Angelo since 1959, was the...
Ross F. McSwain, 82, well known West Texas newspaper columnist, author and historian died on November 2, 2012 at Shannon Hospital after a short illness.

Family visitation will be from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM Sunday November 4,2012 at Johnson's Funeral Home. Funeral services will be held 2:00 PM Monday at College Hills Baptist Church with burial in Lawnhaven Memorial Gardens. The Rev. Lakan Mariano, pastor of College Hills Baptist Church will officiate, assisted by the Rev. Travis Monday, chaplain of San Angelo Community Medical Center and Rev. Monte Jones, retired Episcopal priest.

Mr. McSwain, a resident of San Angelo since 1959, was the retired regional editor and senior staff writer of the San Angelo Standard-Times. After his retirement in 1991, he continued his writing career as a freelance journalist, authoring eight books of non-fiction, numerous magazine articles, and working as a publicity consultant. He created and wrote the newspaper's popular weekly "Out Yonder" column for more than 30 years.

Born November 18, 1929 in Longview, Gregg County, Texas, he moved to West Texas with his parents in 1938. He attended schools in Brady, and graduated from Brady High School in 1947. He later attended John Tarleton State College at Stephenville for two years, and took special courses in poultry production at Texas A & M University in the 1950's while operating a hatchery and feed store in Llano. Before joining the Standard-Times as a reporter in 1959, he farmed and ranched in partnership with his father, the late R.F. McSwain of Brady and also operated a Texaco service station there.

On November 23, 1963, he was married to Jean Timmons of Bronte. They would have celebrated their 49th anniversary in a few weeks.

In 1969, Mr. McSwain left the newspaper to be information director and assistant executive director of the Mohair Council of America. During his nine years with the council, he traveled extensively throughout Europe, the Far East and to Africa finding new markets and uses for mohair fiber. He returned to the newspaper in 1978 to be business editor. As a reporter and editor with the newspaper, he won numerous awards, including the coveted Mark Francis Award given by the Texas Veterinary Medical Association for a special series on rabies.

After retirement, Mr. McSwain become active in several historical organizations and with the AARP where he served six years on the state legislative committee and as a volunteer ambassador for the national senior citizens organization. In 2000, he was presented a special award for outstanding contributions and services in enhancing AARP's community presence in Texas. He is a charter member of the local chapter.

His love of history and political affair resulted in his being selected to leadership roles in both county and regional historical societies. He was a past president of the Tom Green County Historical Society, past president and a fellow of the Permian Historical Society, and was an active member of the West Texas Historical Association, Edwards Plateau Historical Society, the Texas Folklore Society, and he was a charter member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, General Tom Green Chapter No. 1613. Other groups in which he held membership included the Concho Valley Archeological Society, San Angelo Historical and Genealogical Society and he was a past director and board member of the Texas Forts Trail.

His writing career also led to his being a charter member and past president of the San Angelo Writers Club, member of the Western Writers of America, and his teaching creative writing courses at Angelo State University's Continuing Education Division.

Mr. McSwain was a longtime member of College Hills Baptist Church, where he served a short time on the finance committee and as co-chair of the church's 50th annual celebration. He was a member of the Love and Joy Sunday School class.

His survivors include his wife, Jean of San Angelo; a son, Tom and wife, Claire of Lago Vista; two daughters, Elizabeth Wilborn and husband Jim of Chillicothe and Angela Nowell and husband Ron of Arlington; six grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. He is also survived by his aunt, Marge Chambers of McAllen; his two special nieces, LaQueta Shelburne and husband, Harold and LaRita Wilder and husband, Fred, all of San Angelo. He has five great nieces, two great nephews, six great-great nieces, and two great-great nephews, and numerous cousins. He is preceded in death by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. R.F. McSwain and a son, Robert McSwain, of Brady.

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SAN ANGELO Ross F. McSwain, 82, well known West Texas newspaper columnist, author and historian died on Nov. 2, 2012, in Shannon Hospital after a...

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