|Swindell Named Grand Marshall in Greenfield |
|Billy Wade Swindell, 73, a 41-year Greenfield resident whose community volunteerism has spanned several decades, has been named Grand Marshal of the city’s 2007 Fire Prevention Festival & Parade. |
Scheduled for Oct. 10-13, the annual downtown event kicks off with an opening Wednesday morning ceremonial breakfast at the firehall and climaxes with a Saturday afternoon parade and evening fireworks. As Grand Marshal, Swindell will usher in the colorful parade as it winds its way through the city’s business district.
After a nomination process, Swindell was voted unanimously by the Fire Prevention Festival Committee to serve in the honorary role that seeks to recognize citizens who have “made a difference” by giving to their community through volunteer service, civic leadership and promoting strong family values.
During the parade, Swindell will have at his side his wife of 53 years, the former Shirley Sharp, a Weakley County native. The widely-respected couple has raised four grown children: Trina Norton, Cleveland, Tenn.; the late Sandra Jo Wolfe who was a Greenfield resident; Keith Swindell, Effingham, Ill.; and Suzann Kroll, Greenfield. They have five grandchildren and three great grandchildren.
“Billy Swindell is an excellent selection as Grand Marshal because he is the epitome of community spirit and civic pride,” said Bob Dudley, Greenfield fire chief who coordinates the annual festival and parade. “Anyone who knows Billy understands what he has meant to Greenfield residents, to our area schools, to our young people and to our senior citizens. For the last 41 years, he has freely given of himself to promote small-town values and family principles. I couldn’t be happier with his selection.”
Born in Cades, Tenn. in 1934, Swindell graduated Bradford High School in 1953. He and Shirley married a year later and settled in Greenfield before following the job market to Chicago, Ill., Davenport, Iowa and then Marion, Iowa. The family returned to Greenfield in 1966.
Swindell’s community volunteerism for the past four decades has included:
• Three years as a Greenfield Jaycees member for whom he drove the city’s mosquito-sprayer truck and with whom he helped to build the Callins Field ballpark;
• Four years in the Greenfield Lions Club for whom he served in multiple civic roles;
• For 17 years, he served as a member of the sideline chain-gang at Greenfield High School Yellowjackets football games;
• For 40 years, he volunteered as a manager, coach, umpire and public announcer for Greenfield’s area Little Leaguers. Earlier this spring he was honored with a retirement plaque for his years of service as the city’s ballpark public announcer.
• For the past several years, he has served in various volunteer roles for the Fire Prevention Festival & Parade. As an ongoing festival ambassador, his roles have ranged from selling tickets for prize drawings to monitoring the safety of area youngsters who are parade participants.
Swindell is best known for his five years as a McAdams Grocery employee and for his 20 years as a White Rose Laundry driver servicing much of West Tennessee. After retiring from his laundry route, Swindell drove a community van for Northwest Tennessee Human Resource Agency. Since 1996, he has driven a Greenfield Senior Center van delivering food to the homebound for the Home-Delivered Meals Program, while also providing community transportation to the elderly for grocery, bank and medical needs. He currently co-coordinates Senior Center activities in Greenfield.
His hobbies include travel, working crossword puzzles and watching football. Past trips have taken him to Branson, Las Vegas, Chicago, Niagara Falls, Cape Cod, Myrtle Beach and Virginia Beach. He attends Bradford United Methodist Church.