Alice Swingle, a lifelong resident of the Rogue Valley, passed away Monday, February 11, 2013 at Rogue Regional Medical Center. She was 97.
Alice was born to her parents, Alfred and Jenny Hensler in Fern Valley on May 22, 1915. She grew up along with her three siblings on her parents' farm and orchard and learned the values of work and family at an early age. She attended schools in Fern Valley, Phoenix, and Medford and graduated from Phoenix High School.
She continued her education, graduating with a two-year Education Degree from Ashland Normal School, now SOU. She then began a teaching career that spanned more than 30 years. She was not only a lifelong educator, but also was a lifelong learner. She continually increased her knowledge and teaching skills through college classes, graduating with a four-year degree from SOC in 1964. She met the challenges of a variety of instructional positions, including teaching in one-room rural schoolhouses, substitute teaching in various elementary grade schools, and finished her career as a first grade and then resource teacher in the Phoenix-Talent Unified School District. She touched the lives of many students along the way, and retired in 1977.
Alice met her husband Charles O. Swingle, many years before they married. Charles started working for Alice's father when he was 15 and Alice was 9. Charles left to pursue other interests but eventually returned to work for her father 13 years later. A romance that would last for nearly 70 years began. He proposed to her on Valentines Day 1938 and they married the following June 1st. They lived together and raised their family on a farm in Fern Valley that they purchased in 1940 in partnership with Charles' brother Ralph.
Her parents Alfred and Jenny; her siblings Florence, Mary, and Tom, and her husband Charles preceded Alice in death. She is survived by her sons Charles R. Swingle and wife Judy and Fred A. Swingle and wife Mina. Her legacy continues with surviving grandsons Richard Swingle and wife Joyce, Robert Swingle and wife Shannon, Jeffrey Swingle and wife Angela, and granddaughter Wendy Swingle. In 2010 Robert and Shannon blessed her with her only great-granddaughter Amelia Ferne. Many nieces and nephews also survive. Anyone who can trace his or her ancestry back to the pioneering Ferns family is most likely related.
Alice was a 50-year member of the Phoenix First Presbyterian Church and was active for many years in the IOOF Olive Rebekah lodge. She often played piano for various events and services for both organizations.
Alice enjoyed spending time with family and friends. She especially liked being with her children and grandchildren as they grew up. She provided good fun and good food at gatherings on the farm. During retirement she and Charles traveled extensively in a series of different camping vehicles and on cruises. They traveled to Alaska, Mexico, California, Arizona, and throughout Oregon. They often visited friends and relatives on their trips.
A memorial service will be held Saturday, February 16, 2013 at 2:00 p.m. at Jackson House, 300 Suncrest Rd., Talent, Oregon. Remembrances may be left at http://aliceswingle.blogspot.com.