Earl Sweringen, 78

Wednesday, June 25, 2003

Earl Roy Swearingen, 78, of Mountain Home, died of cancer on Friday, June 20, 2003.

Funeral services will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, June 25, at Summers Funeral Homes, McMurtrey Chapel in Mountain Home. Burial will follow at Mountain View Cemetery

Earl was born April 15, 1925, in Grand Island, Neb., to Earl Ralph and Josie A. (Brown) Swearingen. He had three older sisters that helped welcome him into this world and they always remained very close.

Earl began working at a very young age, selling newspapers on the street corners and delivering ice to help support the family during the Depression.

At the age of 15, he moved to Mountain Home to live with his oldest sister and her husband. He worked for his brother-in-law in a bakery and also herded 5,000 turkeys near Long Tom Reservoir.

He joined the Navy in World War II. Aboard the USS John Land, he endured numerous landings in the South Pacific, enemy attacks and kamikaze planes.

"He was always very patriotic and remembered, with great pride, his days in the Navy," his family said. After his discharge he went back to the place he loved most, Mountain Home.

In January 1947, he married his local sweetheart, Joan Swenson. They had three sons and Earl worked hard, often holding two jobs, to support his family.

For about eighteen months, the family moved back to Nebraska where Earl worked at a VA Hospital. He left that job and moved back to Mountain Home, where he opened his first business, Earl's Pawnshop, in January 1953. Over the years he was involved in dozens of businesses. He owned a real estate office for 25 years and was well known for his entrepreneurial skills.

"The only thing he ever failed at was retirement," his family noted.

He loved fishing, hunting and camping. He had a passion for card games, poker, cribbage and gin.

"He was always honest and generous, sometimes to a fault," his family said. He was involved with numerous local organizations including over 50 years as a member of the American Legion.

In January 2003, he received the first "Lifetime Achievement Award" from the Mountain Home Chamber of Commerce. "He was very honored and proud to be the first person ever to receive the award," his family said.

"Earl was a terrific father and husband. He was always thankful that he had the opportunity to be in business with each of his sons at some point. He will be remembered as a truly nice man with a deep respect for ambition, patriotism and humor," they added.

Earl is survived by: his wife of 56 years, Joan Swearingen of Mountain Home; sons, Ron and his wife, Debbie, Ed and his wife, Georgann, and Jim, all of Mountain Home; sisters Ann Lilly of Boulder City, Nev., and Arlene Boyd and her husband, Bill, of Grand Island, Neb.; 10 grandchildren, 12 great-grandchildren and numerous nephews and nieces.

He was preceded in death by his parents, sister and one granddaughter.

The family asks that memorial donations be made to a favorite local charity.