Gail McKinney Swaim
Gail McKinney Swaim, age 71, died Saturday, March 19 at her home in Olney, Texas surrounded by family. Born March 9, 1945, she attended school in Olney where she met a tall, cute boy nicknamed “Shorty” whom she later married. They raised three children and celebrated 54 years of marriage in February. Gail was a loving wife, a caring sister, a precious mother and generous Gammie, a nosy neighbor, a practical joker, a giving friend, and a compassionate caretaker.
Gail lived her life on two speeds, lightning speed and standby. Even as a young mother with three small children, she was always ready to go at a moment’s notice. Weekends with friends, square dancing with Shorty, summers at the lake, road trips to visit family. When raising her kids, she cheered at football games and track meets, argued with refs at basketball games, and watched silently at plays (the silent part being a challenge). She tirelessly made birthday cakes, sewed school clothes, and hand stitched Christmas stockings. Gail was hard-working her entire life. She mastered the skill of sewing while employed at Haggar Slacks, she managed the office for Shorty at Olney Auto, and she operated The Sweet Shoppe for many years, frying donuts, baking cakes and serving meals. Never afraid to talk to anyone, she was a successful salesperson for Sarah Coventry Jewelry. Gail also had a passion for giving of herself and her time. She was at her best when helping others. She spent many years providing home health care to those in need. She was the essence of “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” If you needed her, she was there at a moment’s notice. If you didn’t need her, she was there anyway. She was fearless in her approach to life and understood the importance of making time count. When diagnosed with cancer, and in true Gail fashion, she didn’t allow it to keep her down for long. While the disease took her from us too quickly, we are thankful her suffering was short-lived.
She is survived by the love of her life, her childhood sweetheart, and royal pain, Shorty (aka Marvin); her three children, Teresa Wedgeworth (husband Tim), Rhonda Kulhanek, and Jimmy Swaim (wife Karaline); ten grandchildren, Christen (husband Kyle), Taylor, Layne, Courtney (fiancé Trent), Cody, Logan, Jaxon, Connor, Seth, and Shae; eight step-grandchildren; one stinker of a great grandson, Ace; three siblings, Carolyn, Robert and Mike; and many in-laws, nieces, nephews, and cousins. She is now reunited with her mother and daddy, Bob and Francilene, her sister, Judy, nephew, Jeffrey, and many other family members.
Memorial gifts can be made to the Alzheimer’s Association or Hospice of Wichita Falls. In lieu of flowers, please consider this request. Gail always said, “Why do people wait until you die to send flowers? I would rather have flowers while I’m alive to enjoy them.” So please send flowers to your mother or someone dear to you. And send a note letting us know who you honored in our mother’s memory. We know that would put a smile on our Gammie’s face.
A memorial celebration of Gail’s life will take place at Southside Baptist Church, 1006 Mockingbird Lane, Olney, Texas on Saturday, April 2, at 2pm followed by a reception. Dress comfortably and wear red, Gail’s favorite color.
Condolences can be sent to the family at 1200 Kay Drive, Olney, Texas 76374.