WILLIAM W. SWAYZE III
Bill Swayze a resident of the Methodist Country Home, died on October 26, 2009 at the age of 93.
The son of William and Fanny Swayze, Bill was born on June 20, 1916 in Wilmington. He grew up on Madison Street with his sisters, Miriam and Jean, and graduated from Wilmington High School in the class of '34. Bill received his B.A. degree in Business Administration from the University of Delaware in l938, and he was commissioned a Lieutenant in the Army Field Artillery in that same year. He subsequently served in various military theatres during World War II until his discharge from active duty with the rank of Major in 1945. He continued his service to the Nation in the United States Army Reserve from which he retired with the rank of Lt. Colonel. He also was one of the three founders of the Delaware Veteran's Post #1 on Naamans Road. Following his military service, Bill returned to his beloved Wilmington and embarked on a 40 year career with Farmers Mutual Insurance Company. He served initially as corporate secretary, but in 1952 he was elected its President and CEO. His job afforded him the opportunity to visit with independent agents throughout the State, many of whom he counted among his best friends. He retired from Farmers Mutual in 1983. Bill Swayze was dedicated to his community. In addition to his association with the DelVets, he was also active with the Wilmington Lions Club, Delaware ACES, the Lincoln Club of Delaware, the Masonic Home, the Y'sMen's Club and The University & Whist Club. As a devoted supporter of the University of Delaware, in l987 Bill received its award as the outstanding alumnus of the year, recognizing him as the longest continuous contributor. He was a lifelong member of the Hanover Presbyterian Church, where he served as an elder and a trustee. Bill was an avid golfer at Wilmington Country Club. He enjoyed his annual winter escapes to Siesta Key, Florida and his worldwide travels with his wife, family and friends. His 50 year unwavering support of the Fightin' Blue Hens was the embodiment of the "thrill of victory, the agony of defeat".
Surviving him are his wife of 67 years, Barbara Stewart Swayze; his sister, Jean Guenveur of Rehoboth Beach; three children: David of Wilmington, Bruce of Chadds Ford, and Patricia Ball of Park City, Utah; and five grandchildren.
A memorial service is scheduled for Monday, November 2, 2009 at 11am at the Hanover Presbyterian Church, 18th and Baynard Blvd., Wilmington. Interment will be private.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributions in his name to The University of Delaware at 5 West Main St., Newark, DE 19716.
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