Swisher’s influence will continue to be felt by community

Published 6:32 pm Monday, July 28, 2014

Sunday was a sad day in Troy as people learned of the death of Bobbie Swisher, a beloved teacher and community member.

“To live in the hearts of those you love is to never die” and no more fitting words could be said of Swisher.

She will live on in the hearts of the many whose lives she touched as she journeyed through this world, said John Jinright, a former student and friend.

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“Bobbie had such a spark, such a passion that she passed on to her students that it’s like she is still with us in some small way,” Jinright said. “Her influence will be felt in many ways for years to come. She was a wonderful person and a great teacher. There was just something about “Mrs. Swisher” that made you want to work hard and be the best you could be.”

Swisher was a longtime and dedicated member of the Troy Arts Council. She called Elaine Blair, chair of the TAC’s Patrons’ Drive on Thursday and asked her to come by and pick up a check for the arts council’s upcoming season of events.

“Bobbie wanted to make sure the arts council had her support,” Blair said. “That was so typical of her. She was always thinking of others and never of herself.

“Bobbie Swisher was one of the finest people I have ever known. She meant everything to me and to our community. She was the epitome of everything good.”

Blair knew Swisher as a personal friend, as a patron of the arts and as a fellow church member.

“Bobbie and Rhae were such a fun couple,” she said. “We went on many TAC trips together and they were a joy be around.”

Swisher was active in her church, First United Methodist Church of Troy. She was a Sunday school teacher, a member of the Annie B. Green Sunday school class, the United Methodist Women and the chancel choir. She served on various church committees and participated in all church activities.

“She had a strong and abiding faith,” Blair said. “I don’t know of a finer woman anywhere.”

Betty Wagoner taught at Charles Henderson High School where Swisher taught English, journalism and debate.

“Bobbie was one of the finest teachers Charles Henderson has ever had,” Wagoner said. “She had the debate team and they went everywhere and won all kinds of trophies. Bobbie was a fantastic teacher and the students loved her and respected her. She was always doing something for the good of the school, for others and to make our community a better place.”

Wagoner said Swisher touched so many lives in so many different ways – as a teacher and as a community servant.

She was also a member for the 19th Century Club, the Woman’s Club, the Troy Music Study Club and the Garden Club.

Betty Spann said there was not a better club member than Swisher.

“Bobbie held every office in the 19th Century Club and the Troy Music Study Club,” she said. “We taught school together at the middle school before she moved to the high school. She was an outstanding teacher and so dedicated.”

Spann said Swisher was honored one year as the Woman of the Year in Troy and nobody was more deserving.

“Bobbie was not originally from the South but nobody could represent Troy any better,” she said. “I never heard her say an unkind word about anybody. She always had a smile. She was a marvelous Christian lady. She is in the heavenly choir now.”