Thomas Swanner

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Thomas Glenn Swanner passed away at 2:12 p.m. on March 14, 2009, at Brookwood Medical Center, Birmingham, from the effects of a stroke, one month and one day before his 69th birthday.

He was the son of Leon Thomas and Mary Baugh Sisk Swanner, who preceded him in death, in 1985 and 1968, respectively. He was born in the Capshaw community of Limestone County, Alabama, on April 15, 1940, and was the youngest of 2 children. He married Sarah Faye Dailey on Dec. 31, 1961, at the First United Methodist Church, Clanton, Alabama.

Coach Swanner was a 1958 graduate of Chilton County High School, and a 1966 graduate of the University of Alabama, where he also received his masters degree, both in Education. He received his AA degree in administration from Troy State University. He was a member of the First United Methodist Church in Clanton and a member of the Masonic Lodge. He is also retired from the Alabama Army National Guard.
Coach Swanner began teaching at Isabella High School in 1966. He was a teacher, assistant principal and coach.

He became principal of Verbena High School in 1990 and retired from public education in 1991. He later taught in private education at Meadowview Christian High School in Selma for several years until he retired.
He also worked for the maintenance department painting schools in the summer months while he was a teacher and after he retired he enjoyed this position on a more regular basis. He loved his job and his schools very much.

He enjoyed teaching and coaching and wanted to be a positive influence on the young people he came in contact with. He wanted to instill in his pupils the aspects of discipline and doing what was right, but if there was ever a man that enjoyed the lighter side of life, he exemplified that as well.

He enjoyed playing pranks and was always laughing about something. Even when in immense pain while in the hospital after a surgery, he would be joking around with the nurses. He also loved going to the Dailey family land in Camden and spending time in the woods looking at God’s beauty. He enjoyed being around his classmates and one of his greatest joys was being the master of ceremonies at last year’s 50th reunion. He was a caring, gentle and loving man and he will be missed greatly.

He is survived by his wife, Sarah Faye Dailey Swanner, and two children, Thomas Gregory Swanner, of Elmore, AL, and Mary Elizabeth Swanner (Lee ) Mims, of Clanton; a sister, Minnie Mae Swanner (Buel) Burdette , of Tuscaloosa; four grandchildren, Sarah Elizabeth Swanner, Thomas Tate Kirkpatrick Swanner, Victoria Grace Byrne and Emily Rose Mims; sister-in-law Dorothy Anne Dailey (Henry) Collier, of Ft. Walton Beach, FL, and brother-in-law Marvin Ervin Dailey (Cecilia Ann), of Chickasaw; and nieces and nephews David Wayne Burdette, of Tuscaloosa, AL, Anne Marie Collier McBride, of Ft. Walton Beach, FL, Allison Elizabeth Collier Vinson, of Raleigh, NC, Amanda Faye Collier Leddy, of Pace, FL, Marvin Lloyd Dailey, of Chumuckla, FL, and Robert Carter Dailey, of Mobile, AL. He was also very fortunate to have a large contingent of family in North Alabama and Tennessee whom he cherished very much. The Swanner and Sisk families of that area meant so much to him, as well as did the Dailey and Carter families.

Funeral services will be held at the First United Methodist Church, Clanton, AL, March 17, 2009. Viewing for all will be from 10 am to 11 am in the main sanctuary of the church, with services to follow at 11 am. Graveside services will be immediately after the service at the Chilton Memorial Gardens, Clanton. Brothers Larry Anderson and Brian Dovey will be officiating.

Pall bearers are David Burdette, Marvin Dailey, Robert Dailey, Tommy Carter, Danny Carter and Tim Carter, with the Chilton County Class of 1958 being honorary pall bearers.

Coach Swanner always said “Don’t send flowers to people that are dead, send them to those you love that are alive”. So, no flowers please. Instead, please make donations in Coach Swanner’s honor to the Isabella Historical Society and can be mailed to: Isabella High School, attn: Rhonda Littleton, 11338 County Road 15, Maplesville, AL, 36750.

Martin Funeral Home Directing.