McKinley Edwin (Mac) Swimmer, 75, of the Big Cove Community went home to be the Lord on Thursday, Nov. 28 at his residence following a period of declining health. A native of Swain County, Mac is the son of Amanda Sequoyah Swimmer and the late Luke Swimmer. Along with his father, Mac is preceded in death by three brothers; John, Herbert and Ronald Swimmer, a sister Mary Ellen Swimmer Wolfe and one son Robert Dale Swimmer.
McKinley (Mac) graudated from Cherokee High School and then went on to graduate from North Georgia Tech in Clarkesville, Ga. McKinley served one term as a Council member for the Big Cove community. He also served as a tribal policeman. He was an active member of the community, serving as a coach for basketball and softball. Before leaving Cherokee, McKinley was a Deacon at Straight Fork Baptist Church in Big Cove. He was an ordained Minister in New Mexico and before retiring he and his wife spent 30 years in the missionary field where he was Pastor for 3 different churchs in; Dulce, NM (Apache Reservation), Albuquerque, NM and Fruitland, NM (Navajo Reservation). Also, while in New Mexico, he was a Deacon at the First Indian Baptist Church in Albuquerque,served as Vice president of the Inlow Indian Baptist Camp in New Mexico and served as president of the Indian Quarterly Fellowship in New Mexico. More recently, McKinley served as moderator for the Tennessee River Baptist Assocation in 2010, McKinley was a member of the Cherokee Baptist Church.
McKinley is survived by his wife of 55 years, Juanita French McGillis Swimmer of Cherokee, 2 sons; McKinley (Eddie) Swimmer, Jr. and wife Regina of Cherokee and Stephan Swimmer and wife Robin of Cherokee. Two grandsons; Kyle Swimmer from Laquna, NM and Aaron Swimmer from Keams Canyon, Ariz.. Also surviving are; McKinley’s mother, Amanda Sequoyah Swimmer, Sisters; Merina Myers, Flora Bradley and Marilyn French. Brothers; Virgil and Donald Swimmer. McKinley also leaves behind many nieces and nephews.
A visitation was held on Sunday, Dec. 1 at the Cherokee Baptist Church. McKinley remained at the church to await the hour of service on Monday, Dec. 2. Acting as pall bearers were McKinley’s nephews.
By request of the family, they ask ,in lieu of flowers please make donations to your local P.A.W.S, Hospice or favorite local charity, in memory of McKinley E. Swimmer.