Jonesville mayor dies at age 85

Taylor Pardue Staff Reporter

August 22, 2013

Jonesville lost its mayor this week.

Mayor Lindbergh Swaim died early Wednesday morning following a lengthy illness.

He was 85.

Swaim was born May 8, 1928 on Main Street in Jonesville and graduated from Jonesville High School.

He was constantly active in the community. Besides his time as mayor he served as a member of the Lions Club and a Mason, as a president and master, respectively.

He was also a member of the Yadkin Valley Chamber of Commerce and the Yadkin County Board of Education.

Swaim was often most famously known as the town’s fire chief. He served in Jonesville as the department’s chief for 42 years, having joined in 1958.

Swaim had been reportedly taking dialysis for a blood infection prior to his death.

He was absent from town hall meetings for several months in early 2013 but was able to return in the early summer, only to be hospitalized again prior to the alcohol referendum August 12.

His funeral services will be held through Elkin Funeral Service on Highway 268 in Elkin.

Visitation will be held Friday evening from 6-8 p.m at the funeral home.

The funeral will be held at Jonesville First United Methodist Church, where Swaim was a member, at 11 a.m. Saturday. The burial will follow at Sunrise Cemetery.

Jonesville commissioners are planning a seperate ceremony for Swaim, but details have not been set, according to Town Manager Scott Buffkin.

The town hall flag was lowered to half-staff, and white bows were placed on the entrance doors to mark the mayor’s passing.

The town council will name a replacement as outlined in the town’s charter. Buffkin said the commissioners will appoint a replacement to finish the term.

Swaim had decided not to run for another term in office this November’s election.

Buffkin said Swaim would be sorely missed in Jonesville, not just at Town Hall.

“Mayor Lindbergh Swaim has been a fixture with the Town of Jonesville since well before I came to Town,” Buffkin said. “Mr. Swaim had a true sense of responsibility to the community and gave of himself without hesitation. He will be greatly missed by those that served along side him as well as by the citizens of this Town that he loved.”

Swaim was on the council that first hired Buffkin to be town manager in 1995.

Friend and Mayor Pro-Tem Gene Pardue said Swaim was a blessing to him through the years.

“Lindbergh was a good fella, a good man,” Pardue said. “Lindbergh was always a good friend; he was a real nice person.”

Pardue said that when he and his wife Shelby first married Lindbergh was selling oil at a service station in town.

Lindbergh was the kind of man that would let you pay him when you could, whether you and your new bride had the money for oil or not, according to Pardue.

“He was a good friend to a lot of people,” Pardue said.

Friend and commissioner Wayne Moore said Swaim had been a good friend since they met.

“I’ve known Lindbergh since the early ’60s when he served on the bank board at Northwestern Bank in Jonesville,” Moore said. “He’s been a dear friend ever since; highly respected in the community, generous, compassionate person, somebody that will really be missed.”

Across the river, Elkin Mayor Lestine Hutchens of Elkin said she was saddened when learning of the death.

“Jonesville lost a very dedicated public servant. It’s very hard to replace someone with as much dedication and commitment,” said Mayor Hutchens.

“Sincere condolences to the Swaim family and the town of Jonesville. Lindbergh’s presence will be missed in places other than the Town Hall,” said Judy Wolfe of the Jonesville Historical Society.

“What a legacy Lindbergh leaves behind. We have all been blessed by his being a part of our lives. We are praying for your comfort and peace,” wrote Todd and Cricket Gilliam on Mayor Swaim’s developing obituary page.

To contact Taylor Pardue call 336-835-1513 ext. 15, or email him at tpardue@civitasmedia.com.