TURBOTVILLE — Lester M. Swope Sr., 86, of King Street, Turbotville, passed away Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2013, at Geisinger Medical Center after a four-and-a-half year illness.
Born Feb. 1, 1927, in Lewis Township, rural Turbotville, he was the son of the late Hugh M. and E. Ellen (Gold) Swope. Lester and his wife, Grace I. Krum, had recently celebrated their 66th wedding anniversary on Sept. 27.
He graduated from Turbotville High School in 1944. He was lifetime member of Holy Spirit Evangelical Lutheran Church, Turbotville, where he taught Sunday school.
Lester was a Navy veteran of World War II. He was also a lifetime member of Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States of America, Muffley Huff Post 8206, Boy Scouts of America, Scoutmaster of Troop 622, Cub master of Cub Pack 3622, Brotherhood member of the Order of the Arrow, Turbotville Borough Council president, borough councilman, mayor of Turbotville for 12 years, chairman of the Democratic Club of Turbotville, president of West End Democratic Club (1995-1996), Voice of Democracy Committee chairman, and fire company president.
Lester worked full time at Weis Markets for 37 years and part time until he was 80. He also served as courier for Northumberland County.
He was a generous volunteer donating time to expanding the fireman’s carnival, improvements to the cemetery, sidewalks, curbs, paving, flags, ambulance driver, fire police, Red Cross, co-chairing Neighbors Helping Neighbors, Turbotville Community Hall Corporation Endowment Fund, Warrior Run Heritage Society, Voice of Democracy Contest, St. James Lutheran Church council, and the Lions Club.
Lester received many honors throughout his lifetime. He was the Mount Pleasant Grange Outstanding Citizen of Turbotville in 1981, VFW Outstanding Citizen of Turbotville in 1980, Milton Standard “Man of the Year” in 1980, Northumberland County “Commissioner’s Award” in 1993 and 1997, Northumberland County Democratic Party “Honorary Young Democrat” in 1996, awarded for registering 102 new Democrats, National Grange “Community Citizen Award” in 1996, Turbotville Midget Teams in 1982,Voice of Democracy citations, Certificate of appreciation for service and cooperation from Turbotville Area Lions Club in 1990, twice named Sunbury Daily Item “Citizen of the Year,” and the Warrior Run Woman’s Club “Citizen of the Year” in 2000.
As many accolades as he received, Lester always sought ways to recognize others. He wanted to make a better place for his children and grandchildren to grow up.
Surviving, in addition to his wife Grace, are a son and daughter-in-law, Lester M. Jr. and Linda Swope of Milton; a daughter and son-in-law, Virginia E. and Richard Bower of Millville; son and daughter-in-law, Allen B. and Maryanne Swope of Harrisburg; daughter and son-in-law Sue A. and Robert Chilcote of Marysville; son and daughter-in-law Dr. Jay A. and Tracy Swope of Perth, Australia; son and daughter-in-law Matthew D. and Melinda Swope of Lancaster; two sisters, Florence Erdley of Watsontown and Margaret Umpstead of Montgomery; 14 grandchildren, Andrea her husband Gary Williams, Devin Force, Lindsay Bower, Wade Bower, Jonathan his wife Lindsey Swope, Michael Swope, Timothy Swope, Kathryn her husband Joshua Volcy, Whitney Swope, Jay Swope Jr., Nicholas Swope, Samuel Chambers, Cassandra Swope and Aaron Swope; and six great-grandchildren, Shylyn Force, Rylan Force, Tyler Force, Marissa Williams, Scarlett Swope and Gabrielle Wade.
Friends are invited to call from 6 to 8 tonight at Brooks Funeral Home, 207 Broadway St., Turbotville, and 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. Saturday at the Holy Spirit Evangelical Lutheran Church, where the funeral service will be held at 10:30 with Pastor Dan May and Lester’s cousin, the Rev. James H. Gold, officiating. Burial will follow in Turbotville Cemetery, Turbotville.
The family suggests contributions be made to Holy Spirit Evangelical Lutheran Church Building Fund, P.O. Box 6, Turbotville PA, 17772 or Turbotville Community Hall Corp., Attn: Endowment Fund, P.O. Box 313, Turbotville PA, 17772.