The Daily Item
TURBOTVILLE — Lester M. Swope Sr., 86, of King Street, passed away Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2013, at Geisinger Medical Center after a 4 1/2-year illness.
He was born Feb. 1, 1927, in Lewis Township, rural Turbotville, a son of the late Hugh M. and E. Ellen (Gold) Swope. Lester and his wife, Grace I. Krum, celebrated their 66th wedding anniversary on Sept. 27.
He graduated from Turbotville High School in 1944.
He was lifetime member of Holy Spirit Evangelical Lutheran Church, Turbotville, where he taught Sunday school.
Lester was a Navy veteran of World War II. He also was a lifetime member of Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States of America, Muffley-Huff Post 8206, Boy Scouts of America, scoutmaster of Troop 622, cubmaster of Cub Pack 3622, Brotherhood member of the Order of the Arrow, Turbotville Borough Council president, borough councilman, mayor of Turbotville for 12 years, chairman of the Democratic Club of Turbotville, president of the West End Democratic Club (1995-96), Voice of Democracy Committee chairman, and fire company president.
Lester worked full-time at Weis Markets for 37 years and part-time until he was 80. He also served as courier for Northumberland County.
He was a generous volunteer donating time to expanding the fireman’s carnival, improvements to the cemetery, sidewalks, curbs, paving, flags, ambulance driver, fire police, Red Cross, co-chairing Neighbors Helping Neighbors, Turbotville Community Hall Corp. Endowment Fund, Warrior Run Heritage Society, Voice of Democracy contest, St. James Lutheran Church Council and the Lions Club.
Lester received many honors throughout his lifetime. He was the Mount Pleasant Grange Outstanding Citizen of Turbotville in 1981, VFW Outstanding Citizen of Turbotville in 1980, Milton Standard “Man of the Year” in 1980, Northumberland County “Commissioner’s Award” winner in 1993 and 1997, Northumberland County Democratic Party “Honorary Young Democrat” in 1996, honored for registering 102 new Democrats, National Grange “Community Citizen Award” in 1996, Turbotville Midget Teams in 1982,Voice of Democracy citations, certificate of appreciation for service and cooperation from the Turbotville Area Lions Club in 1990, twice named The Daily Item’s “Citizen of the Year” and the Warrior Run Woman’s Club’s “Citizen of the Year” in 2000.
As many accolades as he received, Lester always sought ways to recognize others. He wanted to make a better place for his children and grandchildren to grow up.
Surviving, in addition to his wife, Grace, are a son and daughter-in-law, Lester M. Jr. and Linda Swope, of Milton; a daughter and son-in-law, Virginia E. and Richard Bower, of Millville; son and daughter-in-law, Allen B. and Maryanne Swope, of Harrisburg; daughter and son-in-law, Sue A. and Robert Chilcote, of Marysville; son and daughter-in-law, Dr. Jay A. and Tracy Swope, of Perth, Australia; son and daughter-in-law, Matthew D. and Melinda Swope, of Lancaster; two sisters, Florence Erdley, of Watsontown, and Margaret Umpstead, of Montgomery; 14 grandchildren, Andrea and her husband, Gary Williams, Devin Force, Lindsay Bower, Wade Bower, Jonathan and his wife, Lindsey Swope, Michael Swope, Timothy Swope, Kathryn and her husband, Joshua Volcy, Whitney Swope, Jay Swope Jr., Nicholas Swope, Samuel Chambers, Cassandra Swope and Aaron Swope; and six great-grandchildren, Shylyn Force, Rylan Force, Tyler Force, Marissa Williams, Scarlett Swope and Gabrielle Wade.
Friends are invited to call from 6 to 8 p.m. today at the Brooks Funeral Home, 207 Broadway St., Turbotville, and from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. Saturday at Holy Spirit Evangelical Lutheran Church, where the funeral will be conducted at 10:30 with Pastor Dan May and Lester’s cousin, the Rev. James H. Gold, officiating.
Burial will follow in Turbotville Cemetery, Turbotville.
The family suggests contributions be made to the Holy Spirit Evangelical Lutheran Church Building Fund, P.O. Box 6, Turbotville PA, 17772, or the Turbotville Community Hall Corp., Attn: Endowment Fund, P.O. Box 313, Turbotville, PA 17772.