Wayne Swart named RSVP Volunteer of the MonthRhea Gonzales August 26, 2018 0 COMMENTS
By Irma Shackelford
RSVP Project Director
Wayne Swart, from Sudan, was named the RSVP (Retired Senior Volunteer Program) Volunteer of the Month.
Wayne was born in Littlefield on a farm where his parents, Luke and Ruth Swart, farmed. He was the eldest of three children born into the Swart family.
Wayne graduated from Littlefield High School and went to work on the family farm with his father. He met the girl he would later marry on a blind date. As the story goes, she was employed along with her roommate, Jackie, a friend of the family, at the hospital kitchen in Amherst.
It turns out that Wayne had a friend who was on furlough from service in the United States Air Force. Back in that time, the fun thing to do was drag down main street of Amherst, Sudan, and Littlefield. Wayne had an idea and asked his friend to call Jackie, a mutual friend, to join in their ride and to bring her roommate, Wanda, along. Wanda was reluctant to go on this blind date that ironically turned into a relationship. The couple married one year later. Wayne and Wanda celebrated their 64th Anniversary this year.
Wayne and Wanda have three children, two boys and one girl.
“We have seven grandchildren and all but one is a boy,” Wayne Swart said.
They also have eight great grandchildren, “half and half,” as he put it.
“Since 1945, family members have attended school in Sudan for all but three years,” Wanda Swart added.
Wayne farmed South West of Sudan till his retirement in 2000. He also sold crop insurance and life insurance for a few years. He serves as a board member of the 5 Area Telephone Co-op for 20 years.
They live in what was the parsonage home (preachers’ house) to a community church which closed its doors in 1962 and was moved into Sudan. He has since added on to the original home.
Wayne enjoys collecting a little bit of everything. He works and assists a lady doing estate sales and mainly helps clean out barns and garages. During a recent visit, he shared pictures and showed how he filled every room inside and outside of his home. He enjoys his collection of Antique Tractors and shares them by entering in area parades. He shared excitement of an antique tractor show hosted by the Bayer Museum of Agriculture in Lubbock the third weekend in October where there will be 100 or more tractors on display. They also have a restored 1969 Red Ford Mustang Wanda gets to enjoy and drive in parades as well.
Wayne joined RSVP shortly after Wanda did in 2003. They both help the RSVP program by collecting and submitting hours each month from volunteers who serve at the Sudan Senior Citizen Center. Wayne has served as president of the Senior Center for eight to nine years. He also makes all the repairs at the center. He spent seven hours the day before a recent visit repairing a water line in the ceiling that was leaking.
The second Saturday of each month, they travel to Lubbock where he volunteers at the Bayer Museum of Agriculture. He enjoys being a tour guide and meeting folks from all over the country. He once met a couple with their 14-year-old son from Australia and spent several hours visiting with them.
On Tuesdays, Wayne travels to the Amherst nursing center, Harmonee House. (Harmonee House got its name from a lady, Ms. Harmon, who owned the house. She had a sister who sang). His mother was a resident there for four years. She died nine years ago and he still goes there for visitations. The RSVP group is thankful to Wayne for caring and serving others in his own wonderful way.
For the past 45 years RSVP has been linking volunteers age 55 and over from Floyd, Hale and Lamb counties with community volunteer needs. RSVP is located at 825 Austin in Plainview. Call (806) 291-1223 for more information about joining one of the largest senior volunteer organizations in the nation.