Bobbye Ann Mason Swinford was born May 13, 1933 in Ranger, Texas to Ralph Meredith and Nancy Katherine (Browning) Mason. She died Sunday morning, November 17, 2013 in Little Rock, Arkansas.
She graduated from Crane, Texas High School in 1951. While in high school she played clarinet and was a baton twirler in the band. In June of 1951, she married Leonard Tomlinson and spent many years moving from town to town, first as an Air Force military wife and later as a Methodist minister’s wife. When that chapter closed, she was reacquainted with an old friend through the matchmaking schemes of her mother and his sister. Bobbye and Fagin Swinford married in July, 1972 in Hobbs, New Mexico.
Bobbye Ann loved to go somewhere. During her lifetime she lived in Germany and was able to explore Europe and she lived in eight American states. For over twenty years she just took her house with her while living full time in the motor home, always traveling to Las Vegas as often as possible.
She was an accomplished seamstress who could copy designer dresses for herself, her daughters and countless girls wanting something unique for prom. She was one of the original “techies.” She worked for Motorola in the 1960s, studied to be a keypunch operator, wanted every new gadget, was quite proud of her smart phone, and was determined to master her touch screen computer. She was also a choir director, Sunday School teacher, waitress, school cafeteria lady, small business owner and had just retired in October after fifteen years as camp ground host in Missouri and Arkansas for the Army Corps of Engineers Park System.
But above all, Bobbye was a homemaker. She was practical, resourceful, and thrifty; proficient in all things domestic. She knew the layout of Wal-Mart by heart and thrilled to get a good deal at the secondhand stores. Her homemade Christmas candies taught all her children the value of chocolate. Her love language was gifts. She loved receiving them and she loved giving them, even if it was just a cup of coffee and a peppermint.
Her children remember she sang while she worked, loved to drive fast, served breakfast every morning before school and always offered dessert after dinner.
Bobbye Ann was preceded in death by her parents and her step-father, Bill Slater, and by her two brothers Bill and Harold Ham and her sister Velma Lee Mason.
She is survived by her husband Fagin and her children and step-children: Celeste and Bob Conlon of Sugarland, TX, Steven and Yekaterina Tomlinson of Pearland, TX, Angina and Van Dickson of Conway, AR, John and Charmarie Swinford of Eldorado, TX, Sonja and Joe Key of Eldorado, TX, and Alan and Jamye Swinford of Crane, TX. She is also survived by eighteen grandchildren and eleven great-grandchildren.
Services were held on Tuesday, November 19th at Living Way Foursquare Church in Little Rock, Arkansas.
Memorials can be made to the American Cancer society. Please visit www.cremationsofarkansas.com to sign the online guest register.