Cover photo for James "Jim" Wendell Swarthout's Obituary
James "Jim" Wendell Swarthout Profile Photo
1942 James "Jim" 2021

James "Jim" Wendell Swarthout

December 4, 1942 — August 11, 2021

A celebration of life will be held for Jim Swarthout on Saturday, August 28, 2021, from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. at the Williamson Community Center. There will be a time to visit and share stories. The family requests that in lieu of flowers, memorials be directed to the family.

James Wendell Swarthout, age 78, of Chariton, passed away peacefully at home, surrounded by family on Wednesday, August 11, 2021, after a long battle with COPD and heart disease. Jim was the eldest child born to Jean and Darlene Swarthout. The house that he was born in is visible, across the field, from his front porch. He had lived at his current residence since 1973.

He graduated from CHS in 1961. He worked as a welder for several years while getting his family started. Jim worked at the Hy-Vee warehouse at night, while spraying crops during the day, retiring from the warehouse to fill in for vacant Lucas County Deputy spots and eventually was elected Lucas County Sheriff for the 1993 – 1997 term.

Jim was married to Mickey (Blanchard) Betz in October of 1966 and they were blessed with 2 daughters, Janel and Jody.

He worked in the Security Department at Prairie Meadows Casino in Altoona, where he eventually met Sandy Edgerton. Jim and Sandy were married on Valentine’s Day in 2000. He went on to work in the Security Department at Lakeside Hotel & Casino, in Osceola.

Jim spent many winters coyote & coon hunting with his brothers and neighborhood “sportsmen”. He also enjoyed being a volunteer member of the Lucas County Sheriff’s Auxiliary. You could tell when he was home because the scanner would invariably be on. There were many hunting dogs and house pets over the years. He professed his hatred for cats all of the time, yet he did take one cat to the vet, much to his chagrin. He was a softy when it really counted.

He enjoyed being a pitcher for the Newbern and Melcher slow-pitch softball leagues. The girls have fond memories of traveling to area towns and “helping” the ladies in the concession stand at the home games. Keeping it in the same neighborhood… he also enjoyed visiting friends and playing cards. One night his defibrillator started going off (it was just doing its job – there was a problem it was trying to fix) while they were playing cards, they had to rib him about it – telling him, he just had a bad hand and needed to bail or just wanted another helicopter ride to Des Moines.

Jim inherited his green thumb from his mother, and enjoyed putting in a garden every year. It was really rough for him the past few years when he wasn’t able to have one. Living on an old coal mine was sometimes an adventure (We never did find any arrowheads!). There was a coal mine reclamation project in the late 70’s – the agency provided bushes and trees and Jim & the girls had fun planting them together (they got to drive the truck – so it was a big deal at the time).

He had his ornery Swarthout sense of humor to the very end. He would be nodding off from the pain meds, and all of a sudden, he would catch everyone off guard and smart off something related to the conversation that was occurring in the room. After the first wave of Covid-19 was over, the girls were lucky enough to get in quite a few quality visits, where they were able to experience the sarcasm in all its glory.

He will be greatly missed by his wife, Sandy; his daughters, Janel Miller and Jody (Nancy Bernardi) Swarthout; step-children, Brian (Diane) Mills and Bri (Michael Devitt) Conley; step-granddaughter, Heidi; siblings: Cheryl (Kenny) Kline, Denny (Becky) Swarthout, Doug (Colette) Swarthout and Cyndi Wilkinson; loving pets, Buddy and “his” cat, Maxine; along with many nieces, nephews, cousins, friends and many extended family members.

His parents and brother-in-law, Bob Wilkinson, preceded him in death.

The family would like to thank the entire staff at EveryStep Hospice in Knoxville, for all of their care, kindness and support that they showed to the entire family while Jim was in their care the past few years.
To send flowers to the family in memory of James "Jim" Wendell Swarthout, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Celebration of Life

Saturday, August 28, 2021

2:00 - 4:00pm (Central time)

Williamson Community Center

S Ave, Williamson, IA 50272

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