Gloria Jean Swafford, 71, of Athens, died Thursday in Nashville. She graduated from J.L. Cook High School as salutatorian of her class in 1966. She graduated from Knoxville College in 1971 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Elementary Education. She was placed on the Dean’s List and was active in the marching and concert bands. She received a Master’s Degree in Elementary Education from Tusculum College in 1992, where she was nominated for inclusion in the American Colleges and Universities Who’s Who Program. She taught school for 28 years for the following: E.K. Baker, Westside, Ingleside and North City in Athens; Thomas Elementary School in Warner Robins, Ga.; she taught four- and five-year-olds in Cheyenne, Wyo.; and taught for 10 years at Damon Elementary School at Loring Air Force Base in Maine. Gloria retired from teaching in 1999. She was also active at Dakota Place support center and did volunteer work for E.G. Fisher Library in Athens. Gloria loved watching football, working in the yard, jigsaw puzzles, and coloring butterflies. She was preceded in death by her parents, Verna Mae Swafford and Paul Andrew Swafford. Survivors include her son, Samuel R. Neil Jr. of Nashville; one sister, Alma Porter; one brother, Paul (Mary) Swafford Jr.; nieces, Kimberly Latham and Sharon Swafford Wood; nephews, Tommy Swafford, Eddie Swafford and Bobby Porter; and many extended family and friends. Funeral services were Wednesday, Jan. 22, at 1 p.m. in the chapel of M.D. Dotson & Sons Funeral Home with the Rev. Vant Hardaway delivering the eulogy. The family received friends one hour before the service at the funeral home from noon to 1 p.m. Interment followed in Hammonds Cemetery in Athens. Services of loving memory entrusted to M.D. Dotson & Sons Funeral Home of Athens.

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