David Anthony Swinford was born in Wichita Falls, TX, on June 28, 1941, to Oley and Hazel Swinford. He passed peacefully into the arms of God on Saturday, December 31, 2022, at the age of 81. David attended Frenship High School, South Plains College, and Texas Tech University, where he achieved a BS in Agriculture Education. David married Joyce Swinford on June 19, 1964, at the Wolfforth Church of Christ. Shortly thereafter, they moved to Dumas, TX, and made it their home. In 1965, their son David Christopher Swinford was born, and in 1967, they welcomed Melissa Rae Swinford Bates.
In 1969, David started working for Moore County Grain. Then in 1975, along with business partners Jimmy Clark, Wayne Clark, Harold Clark, and Jerry Sturgess, he purchased that business and became the president and general manager of Moore County Grain Handling Company. The grain handling business they created became one of the largest independent grain companies in Texas. The business was a family affair with Joyce, Chris, and Melissa all filling roles in the company.
David was an intelligent problem solver who was always working to make things better for others. He served his hometown of Dumas for many years in a wide variety of ways, including as a supporter of Moore County FFA, chairman of the Dumas FFA Booster Club, vice-president of Dumas Little League, director of Dumas and Moore County Chamber of Commerce, as a president of Dumas ISD Board of Trustees, a member of the Dumas Lions Club, a member of the board of directors of the Dumas Economic Development Corporation, and more.
He was also a tireless supporter of the numerous activities his children and grandchildren participated in. He and Joyce spent countless hours and drove countless miles helping their children with their 4-H and FFA pigs, sheep, and steers. He also enjoyed cheering on his grandsons in their many sporting, academic, ag, and music ventures.
David’s civic service expanded to the state level when in 1990, he was elected to the Texas House of Representatives and served for 20 years. He chaired numerous committees from the Agriculture and Livestock Committee to the Government Efficiency and Reform Committee and served on many others. He was also active in caucuses and held several appointments, including a governor’s appointment to the Southern States Energy Council Board and two speaker’s appointments to the Texas Energy Council and the Texas Ag Policy Board. During his tenure, David and his partner legislators from the panhandle helped secure many benefits for Amarillo and this area of the state. Numerous organizations and entities have expressed their appreciation for his service and hard work advocating for the Texas Panhandle and agriculture with awards and accommodations.
In addition to his service to his community and the State of Texas, David was a devoted Christian. Not only did he love serving the congregation where he and Joyce worshiped, Sunray Church of Christ, but David helped facilitate the spreading of the gospel all around the world through his partnership with the Sunset International Bible Institute in Lubbock. He served for many years on the Sunset Council, helped with capital campaigns, helped with the initiation process for the SIBI degree programs, and more. His tireless support and facilitation of a matching grant program from Sunray Church of Christ for SIBI’s solar players helped deliver the word of God to thousands in Africa, Latin America, Asia and beyond.
One of the roles David cherished most was being a loving husband, dad, grandad, and great-granddad. His daughter Melissa Bates and husband Rob of Dumas, TX, have two sons: Phillip Bates, his wife Alayna, and their daughters, Adelyn and Ellie, of Rogersville, MO, and William Bates and his wife, Isabel, of Searcy, AR. His son Chris Swinford and wife Brenda of Wichita Falls, TX, also have two sons: Alan Swinford, his wife Haylee, and their sons, Gavin, Kieran, & Josiah, of Longmont, CO, and Daniel Swinford of Lubbock, TX.
His loving family also includes his brother-in-law David McCoy, sisters-in-law, Sylvia Swinford and Jimmie Swinford, and numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins.
He is preceded in death by his granddaughter Christie Marie Bates, his parents, Oley & Hazel Swinford, father-in-law and mother-in-law, Milas and MaryAnn McCoy, brothers, Sammy Alan, Earl, & Jerry, and sister-in-law, Pat.
The family will receive friends from 4:00 P.M. – 5:00 P.M., Wednesday, January 4, 2023, at Boxwell Brothers Funeral Home in Dumas, TX, 500 N. Maddox. Services will be at 11:00 A.M., Thursday, January 5, 2023, at the Sunray Church of Christ. Burial will be at 10:00 A.M., Friday, January 6, 2023, at the Texas State Cemetery in Austin, TX. Arrangements are by Boxwell Brothers Funeral Directors, Dumas.