Claremore Daily Progress


December 12, 2013

Jayne Ruth Kennedy Swegar

CLAREMORE — Jayne Ruth Kennedy Swegar was born Aug. 17, 1931 to DeWitt Talmadge Kennedy and Audrey Bessie Welliver Kennedy, at their farm southeast of Nowata, Okla. She was also the granddaughter of R Y Kennedy, former mayor of Coffeyville, Kansas.

She died on Thursday, Dec. 5, 2013 at her home in Great Falls, Mont. at the age of 82.

Jayne attended the Nowata Public Schools, graduating in May, 1949. She married Lloyd H Swegar in the Nowata Methodist Church small chapel on Setp. 8, 1949. They made their home in a new built house by Lloyd and his brothers at the edge of Talala, Okla. They lived there for 23 years. Their three children, Gretchen Louise, Dale Lee, and Loretta Anne, were born in the Nowata General Hospital.

Jayne worked for Chester V. Fleming at the Nowata theaters, the Rainbow and the Luxor, during her High School years.

She worked at the Nowata General Hospital as their receptionist for several years, beginning in 1949. Later, she was among the first women bus drivers at Oologah Schools, a position she held for eight years.

On Sept. 8, 1972, the Swegar's moved the house they had built at Talala to the Kennedy Farm at Nowata. It was an exciting time, a time of very hard work, and a most rewarding adventure. Jayne was a free-lance writer, having many non-fiction articles published in national magazines over a long period of time.

She was also an avid genealogist, searching out her family tree on both sides of her family. The earliest date on her Kennedy-Welliver tree is 1299.

She read voraciously, always having a book going, and checking out up to 20 books from the library at a time. She was also a lifetime member of The Nowata County Historical Society, and for several years, the editor of the NCHS Newsletter. In 2004, at the age of 73, having been a widow for 14 years, and tired of mowing grass on the farm, and ready for a new adventure, Jayne sold out, and moved to Great Falls, Montana.

There, she knew exactly two people, her son, and her realtor. Within two years, she had settled in, met some friends, and embarked on a very new and exciting phase of her life.

Later, at the age of 80, she drove alone from Great Falls to Nowata, and back, a total of just over 3000 miles. She enjoyed the trip a lot and saw old friends, relatives, and gorgeous scenery through five states.

She was a charter member of Living Word Family Church, Nowata, and served as Secretary of their Board of Directors for 20 years. She was also a member of the Healer's House Church in Great Falls, Mont. She was a past president of the Nowata Genealogical Society.

She is pre-deceased by Lloyd, her husband of 41 years, her sister, Carol Jeane Kennedy who died at age of 3 weeks in June of 1929, and her parents, DeWitt and Audrey Kennedy. She is survived by her children: Gretchen Swegar Collins (Mrs. Terry), Tulsa, Okla., Loretta Swegar-Graham (Mrs.Richard), Bartlesville, Okla., Dale L. Swegar, M/Sgt USAF, Retired, Great Falls, Mont., her sister-in-law, Barbara Coe Swegar Hicks of Talala, OK, niece, Earleen Swegar DeVore, Tucson, Ariz., (Mrs. Rick), and cousin, Professor Roger M. McCoy, McKinnleyville, Calif.

Funeral services for Jayne are 11 a.m.., Saturday, Dec. 14, 2013 at the Benjamin Funeral Service Chapel with Pastor Allan Walker officiating. Online condolences may be left at

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