1923 – 2018

Mary Helen Swearingen, 94 years old, left our world and peacefully passed into Heaven on September 28, 2018, in Bakersfield, California, with her family at her side.   Helen was born on November 26, 1923, in Comanche, Oklahoma. Her family stayed in Oklahoma until the Depression forced them to move to California to search for jobs. They settled in the small towns of Ducor and Terra Bella, where her family worked on the farms. Helen attended the local schools and finished her education at Porterville High School. Helen met the love of her life, Henry Swearingen, and they were married in Pixley, California. When World War II broke out, Henry joined the Marines and Helen worked as an airplane spotter on high wooden towers. Over the years, Helen and Henry lived in various places, including Huntington Beach where she worked for many years in a tile factory, before settling in Taft.   While in Taft, they enjoyed making friends in the Eastern Star and Masons. They traveled on many trips with their friends throughout California. They also purchased a trailer that they placed in Morro Bay and frequently stayed there on the weekends. After Henry retired, they took a wonderful trip to Alaska and Hawaii.   Helen also volunteered at the Needs Center and the Taft Museum. She loved attending the First Baptist Church and singing in the Golden Agers Chorale. Helen especially enjoyed family meals at the holidays, visiting with the grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She will always be in our hearts.   Helen was preceded in death by her husband, Henry Swearingen, and her oldest son, Lon Swearingen. She is survived by her son, Don Swearingen and wife, Valerie Swearingen. Grandson, Rodney Grantham and wife Elizabeth, and great-grandson Evan. Grandson, Ryan Grantham, and great-grandson Landon. Grandson, David Swearingen and his wife, Alicia and great-grandchildren, Logan and Lukas. Granddaughter, Jill Tiner and husband, Charles and great-grandchildren, Kirsten and Breianna, and great-great-grandchildren, Chelsea and Calvin. Sister, Betty Brewer; nieces, Denise Prine, Carleen Alsup, Brandi Jackson, Taylor Jackson, Emily Jackson, and Haley Dunn. Nephews, Shane Dunn, Justin Prine, Zachary Jackson, Cameron Dunn, Jameson Jackson, and Emmett Prine.   Graveside services will be held at the Westside Cemetery in Taft on Saturday, Oct. 6th, at 10:00 a.m., followed by a memorial service at the First Baptist Church, 220 North Street.