On Monday, March 13, 2023, Robert Lloyd Swiger, of the Grantham Community, a husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather, son, brother and neighbor, passed away peacefully at home surrounded by his family after a brief battle with cancer. Bobby, as he was known to family and friends, was 86 years of age and will be sadly missed by all.
Robert Lloyd Swiger, being born on May 14, 1936 was the third child to be born to the late Sam and Elma Swiger. Bobby grew up in Peoria, IL, along with his six siblings. During his childhood and high school years, Bobby was very active in sports and spent a lot of time on the track and fields. After finishing up with high school at Woodruff High, he enlisted in the United States Air Force. While serving in the military, he played basketball for the USAF Jets, as well as spending some time on the baseball field. During his service and deployment, Bobby served with the Air Police. After his deployments overseas, he was stationed at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base in Goldsboro, NC, where he would later meet the love of his life!
While stationed at SJAFB, he was awarded the National Defense Service Medal for Good Conduct and was also in the rifle battalion. After faithfully and patriotically performing his duties, Bobby received an honorable discharge from USAF in 1957. Shortly afterwards, Bobby married his sweetheart, Bernise Denning, whom he had been courting while stationed at the base.
He and his new bride Bernise, later decided to make their home in Richmond, VA. Bobby spent the majority of his working career as a commercial and residential painter and decorator in Richmond. After several years of living in Richmond, they decided to move back to the small Grantham Community in NC, to help out with aging family members. Bobby was always a hard worker and a solid provider, who loved his family and his country. He was often referred to by his family and friends as a “good man”!
In the later years, his interest included getting together with family and friends in their “Party Barn” out back, where they would celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, reunions and other occasions, with some good ol’ cook outs, guitar picking and singing, and the occasional pig pickings. Bobby was also known to love a home cooked meal! He loved Bernise’s cooking! In later life, due to medical issues, Bobby was confined to a wheelchair. Although his activity was limited, he still enjoyed watching sports on his television. He was what most would call a “sports enthusiast” and would not miss a game! He was very passionate about his favorite teams (The Duke Blue Devils, Green Bay Packers and the Chicago Cubs!) and he knew all their stats! You better know it – He was a huge, Duke Blue Devils fan and could “just about always” be found front and center of the TV when Duke was on! And if you happened to stop in during a “commercial break”, Bobby would definitely enlighten you with all his game knowledge! In addition, Bobby was a big stock car fan. In his earlier years before moving back to NC, “every” Friday night, he and his son Robert could be found at the local race track, known as Southside Speedway, rooting on their favorites, with likes of Sonny Hutchins, Billy Thurston, Bill Dennis and Tommy Ellis just to name a few. This was a Friday night tradition for many years!
Bobby is survived by and will be lovingly remembered by his children, Robert Kirk Swiger (Gina), Jennifer Denise (DeeDee) Swiger-Berry (Ricky), Lisa Mae Swiger-Thornton (Scott, deceased) and Tina Marie Swiger. Bobby will also be fondly remembered by his seven grandchildren (Heather, Bethi, Taylor, Meagan, Clay, Brian and Gracie)… and five great-grandchildren. Also, survived by his siblings, Sammy Swiger (Shirley, deceased), Betty Swiger-Reames (Jim, deceased), Marilynn Swiger-Martin (Glen), and Paul Swiger (Dannie)… and his brother-in-law, Laydon Denning (Lalon) and sister-in-law, Betty Booska-Salmons (Ron). Bobby will also be forever remembered by his numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, neighbors, extended family and dear friends.
Bobby was preceded in death by his parents, Frederick L. “Sam” Swiger and Elma F. Robinson-Swiger, his wife and best friend of 63 years, Edna Bernise Denning-Swiger, as well as his sister, Shirley Swiger-Dunaway, and his brother, Ronnie Swiger.
Services will be held Saturday, March 18, 2023, at Shumate-Faulk Funeral Home, with Visitation from 12:00pm to 1:45 pm and Funeral Service at 2:00pm, with Pastor Ray Smeltzer officiating.
The 2:00pm Funeral Service at Shumate-Faulk Funeral Home will also be offered for viewing online for family and friends who are unable to attend, at; www.shumate-faulk.com .
The Patriot Riders have graciously offered to provide a motorcycle escort to the burial site located at Jordans Chapel Baptist Church, located at 5734 US-13, Mount Olive, NC 28365, where the burial will then be blessed with US Military Honors.
Flowers are welcome, and those who so desire, may make memorial donations in memory of Bobby Swiger to the American Cancer Society online at; www.cancer.org .
Shumate-Faulk Funeral Home is serving the Swiger family and online condolences may be directed to www.shumate-faulk.com .
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