Juanita Annette Swafford, of Crump, was born on Aug. 9, 1943, in Henderson County, Tennessee, the daughter of the late Coy Rogers and Pearl Johnson Swafford. On May 12, 1961, she was united in marriage to the Rev. Billy G. Davis. Together they served the Crump First United Pentecostal Church in Crump for 35 years.
Billy preceded his wife in death on Nov. 11, 2000; just slightly less than seven years later, Juanita married Phil Gillham. The date was Oct. 22, 2007. Sadly, Phil preceded her in death on Jan. 7, 2011.
Juanita had a servant’s heart and loved taking care of others, especially her son and two grandchildren. One of her greatest talents was caring for the elderly and children of all ages. That care manifested itself through everything from loving hugs to money for lunch or ice cream. She worked for the Hardin County Board of Education for 40 years, spending 31 of those as the secretary at West Hardin Elementary, a position she occupied from 1976 until 2007. Although “secretary” may have been her official title, Juanita also served as the receptionist, bookkeeper and school nurse, all rolled into one. When school dismissed for the summers, she would join her brother and her father, “Pa” Swafford, at M.K.D., Inc. where she gladly did any job needed, from sewing to sweeping the floors.
Most often, Juanita blessed those around her through two of her talents which also happened to be two of her favorite activities, washing and ironing clothes. She kept her shoe-shining kit handy, believing that “You can tell a lot about a person by their shoes.” And since tags in clothes bothered her terribly—hence the snips that were always handy—she would be sure to cut them out, often on the way home from her shopping trip. In addition to her many other gifts, Juanita was a talented singer, Sunday school teacher and cook.
Juanita Davis Gillham left this life for a better one on Friday, May 18, at the age of 74 years, 9 months and 9 days.
To celebrate her life and legacy, she leaves her son Kim “Yogi” Davis and his wife Melody of Corinth, Mississippi and her brother, Danny Swafford and his wife Kay of Reagan, Tennessee, her granddaughter Kimberly White and her husband Mack of Savannah and her grandson Justin Davis and his wife Megan of Crump, and their mother Dinah, her step-granddaughter Emily Norton and her husband Luke of Kossuth, Mississippi, her great-grandson Kane White and her great-granddaughter Kimzey White, both of Savannah, and step-great-grandchildren Molly White of Georgia and Corey Norton of Kossuth, Mississippi. Juanita also leaves her special friends and caregivers Elaine and Karen Bailey.
Other than her parents and husbands, Billy G. Davis and Phil Gillham, Juanita was preceded in death by her sister, Geneva Briley.
The family requests that memorial donations be made to the Hardin County school of your choice in honor of the family’s long association with the school system. Donations may also be made in her memory to the Alzheimer’s Association.
Services were held on Tuesday, May 22, at 1 p.m., at Crump First Pentecostal Church in Crump with David Eliff and Darrell Moffett officiating. Burial followed in Crump Cemetery at Crump.