Wister Chester Swinton, affectionately known as “WC” was born in Florence, South Carolina on January 18, 1932 to Zollie and Alice H. Swinton. WC was his parents’ eldest son, third child of ten children. His father and mother instilled hard work ethics in their children. Like his parents, young WC was a farmer ― overseeing livestock and cultivating the land which resulted in many bountiful harvests. WC was very intelligent and valued education. Throughout his life, he was always eager to learn something new. He also had an impeccable memory, resulting in his abundant wealth of knowledge.
WC was also known to his siblings and childhood friends as “Pum.” He was friendly, and a leader to his peers. WC enjoyed dancing at the town’s night club, The Blue Bird Inn ― always with a few coins in hand for the juke box. One evening at a church meeting, he caught the eye of a beautiful woman named Eugenia B. Ashley, also of Florence, South Carolina. They fell in love, married in 1960, and have been happily married for 61 years! The Swintons relocated to Boston, Massachusetts, later settling in the city of Cambridge, where WC purchased property and became a landlord. WC gained employment with NOVEL Iron Works of Malden, as a heavy iron machinery operator. He worked there diligently for 27 years. When the company relocated to New Hampshire, he retired and later worked with Carpenter & Patterson in Woburn for another 12 years. WC was a hard worker!
The Swintons joined the Massachusetts Avenue Baptist Church (MABC) in 1972 under the leadership of Reverend Louis Sibley. The Swintons and Sibleys were not only friends ― but family! The Swintons were very much involved in ministry including serving in the soup kitchen, distributing meals to the community on every occasion and holiday, participating in countless fundraisers, and more. MABC later welcomed new leadership, Reverend Howard A. McLendon ― where WC continued ministry and his passion to serve. The Swintons prayed and trusted in the Lord to become parents, and their prayers were answered! They welcomed a girl named Tanya, via foster parenting. On one glorious Sunday morning, the Swintons learned about another opportunity, “One Church, One Child” an outreach program introduced by The Black Pastors Conference to encourage members of the church to adopt black children. They were blessed with a son, David Paul Montgomery Swinton. Their lives were changed forever. David married his college sweetheart, Amena, and they had two sons, Darius and Dylan. WC loved his grandsons. They were best friends. WC’s words of endearment when it came to his grandsons were, “Where are those crooks?”
In the late 1970s, WC was ordained as a Deacon, serving as chairman of the Deacon Board for 36 years at MABC. He lovingly and respectfully became known as “Deacon Swinton” earning several prestigious awards for his commitment and honorable work in the church, as well as, in the communities of Boston, Cambridge, and Arlington. Reverend Brenda A. Brown, current overseer of MABC had a special relationship with Deacon Swinton. One of the rooms in the church has been named in his honor. WC told his church family “It has been very fulfilling to serve the church, but most of all my service to the Lord has been my greatest strength!” He was truly a servant of the Lord! God called his precious son home to be with Him on July 1, 2021. Deacon WC Swinton’s infectious smile, laughter, conversations, sharp memory, and overall presence will truly be missed!
He leaves to cherish his memory: wife of 61 years, Eugenia B. Swinton; daughter in law, Amena Swinton; grandsons Darius and Dylan Swinton; siblings ― Mae Bell (Ned) Edwards, Sadie Swinton, Dorothy (Purvis) Flumore, Wesley (Ruth) Swinton, Eva Mae (Quency) Flumore, and Carol (Frantz) Swinton, and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, God-children and friends. He is preceded in death by his parents, Zollie and Alice H. Swinton; daughter Tanya Swinton; son David Swinton; brother Eugene Swinton, and two cherished siblings at their birth.
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