James “Rick” Swinney, 71, of Midland, passed away Friday, June 24, 2022.
A memorial service will be held at 10 a.m. Friday, July 1, at Nalley-Pickle & Welch Funeral Home Chapel.
Rick, as he was known to friends and loved ones, was born February 27, 1951, in Levelland, to Truman Swinney and Mary Lou Martin.
He had the most wonderful childhood growing up in Whiteface; making lifelong friends that he went to school with from kindergarten to graduation.
His childhood was spent playing Little League and being in Boy Scouts, which were activities that he did with his dad.
Rick was a talented student, in the National Honor Society, and also a talented athlete, earning many accolades, including an appointment to Annapolis to play Lacrosse.
He chose to stay closer to home and received a full ride from Texas Tech University to play football.
During his time at Tech, he made lifelong friends, some of who he was still very close to.
Rick didn’t graduate from Tech, as the team got a new coach, and he saw that his future there wasn’t going as he hoped, he moved on. It was a big regret in his life, but it led him to other good things.
In December 1972, he met Sundai Ford and it didn’t take long for them to know they had found their other half.
Rick and Sundai married July 28, 1973, and would have celebrated their 49th anniversary next month.
Rick hired on with Gulf Oil in 1980, where he worked as a pumper, gang pusher and relief supervisor.
He then moved to Midland to train others at the Chevron Training Center when it was brand new. Seeing that to advance, he needed to finish his education, Rick worked full time, and went to night school, to finish up his degree.
Rick graduated from South Plains College in 1988, with highest honors and from Wayland Baptist University in 1990, with his bachelor’s degree.
The academics paid off and Rick moved to the procurement department where he spent much of the rest of his career.
In 2014, he had the opportunity to work in Angola, as a strategic procurement advisor.
He was proud of the work he did and strived to do his best for Chevron.
When he retired in 2016, he took a year off and then started Swinney Consulting.
He made many lifelong friends throughout his career in the oil industry.
Rick loved his friends and he loved to hunt, play golf, do ranch work and be out in nature.
What brought him the most joy was spending time with his family doing anything that made everyone happy.
He was an awesome girl-Dad, coaching their sports teams, taking them on adventures and teaching them about enjoying life in moments big and small.
Rick and Sundai were inseparable, golfing once a week, planning new adventures and living life to the fullest with their little Odie, who went everywhere with his “Dad.”
Left here on earth to cherish his memory are his wife, Sundai Swinney; daughters, Marci Barber (Richard) and Jamelyn Gregg (Chris); grandson, Reid James McAlister; and granddaughter, Megan Grace Barber; sister, Cathy Oja (Larry); niece, Tonya Hyles; and nephew, Eric Hearn, along with their families and other extended family.
Rick was preceded in death by his daughter, Staci Ann Swinney; parents, Mary Lou Martin and Truman Swinney; and grandparents: Dessie and Claud Bowden and Arlene and Hiram Swinney.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to a charity of your choice in Rick’s honor.
Arrangements are under the direction of Nalley-Pickle & Welch Funeral Home & Crematory of Midland.
Online condolences may be made at www.npwelch.com.