Joseph Allen Swain passed from this life to the rewards of eternity on Tuesday, September 6, 2011. He was 90 years old.
He was born in the seaside town of Southport, North Carolina to Wellington and Ethel Ophelia Swain on July 11, 1921. He joined the family of two brothers, Arthur Wellington and Ira Otis Swain. In this nurturing loving family, he developed the values and experiences which he carried through life.
Swain received his early education in the public schools of Brunswick County. He pursued his undergraduate work at Winston-Salem Teachers College, however, his education was interrupted when he became a draftee in the United States Army. The major portion of his Army service was spent in the Asiatic Theater of operation. After 38 months, he was honorably discharged. He immediately returned to the states, married his college sweetheart and re-enrolled at Winston-Salem Teachers College to complete his senior year.
He graduated in 1947 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Elementary Education. During his tenure at Winston-Salem State, he helped to establish the school’s first chapter of The Future Teachers of America. After graduation, he attended New York University where he earned the Master of Arts Degree in Elementary Education and a Principal Certificate in 1953. He pursued additional courses of study at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical College in Greensboro, NC, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Appalachian State University in Boone, NC.
Swain’s professional career began as a Language Arts, Social Studies, and Journalism Teacher at Lincoln Heights Academy in Pinehurst, North Carolina. He also held the positions of Principal and Teacher at Bear Poplar Elementary School in Bear Poplar, North Carolina, and Reading Specialist on the Junior High School level in Charlotte. He also served as interim Reading Instructor for North Carolina Agriculture and Technical University and Appalachian State University. In 1982, he retired from Druid Hills Elementary School where he served as principal for 22 Years.
Swain has been particularly supportive of those activities which focused on improving the quality of life for humanity. His involvement included professional memberships in the local and state chapters of the North Carolina Association of Educators, The Retired School Personnel, NEA, and The American Association of School Administrators. Swain’s civic affiliations included the Boy Scouts of America, YMCA, Beta Rho Chapter of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity where he held the office of President, and the Stone Pillow Masonic Lodge.
At an early age, he affiliated with St. James AME Zion Church in Southport, NC. After relocating to Charlotte, he joined Grace AME Zion Church where he served in many capacities. He served as Superintendent of Sunday School for six years. In addition, he served as Vice Chairman of the Trustee Board, Chairman of the Budget and Finance Committee, Chairman of the Stewardship Committee, a member of Relocation Committee, a member of the Lay Council, the Century Club, and a member of the Cathedral Choir.
To cherish his life, he is survived by his wife Delois Barnes Swain; his sons, Brandt Allen (Gwyndolan) and Joel Wellington (Elouise); his grandchildren, Amber, Cheree’, Christina, Grayson, Myeisha, Nehemijel, and Tiffany; his great-grandchildren, James, Julian, Justus, and Myles; one niece, Charlotte Swain Pratt; two nephews, Noble Swain (Patrice) and Johnny Smith (Romeda), great-niece, Alexandra, and a host of cousins, other relatives and friends.
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