Terry Swafford Sr

Terry W. Swafford Sr., 57, of Independence, Missouri passed away January 15, 2010 at Research Medical Center surrounded by his family. A visitation will be held at 2:00 PM and a Memorial Services following at 3:00 PM,  Saturday, January 23, 2010 at Community of Christ  Church 12600 Byars Rd., Grandview, MO.  There will be a pot luck reception following the service. Services will be conducted by Reverend Bill McCormack. In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting donations for burial and hospital expenses. Terry was born July 21, 1957 in Kansas City, KS to Howard and Blanch (Snap) Swafford. He had six brothers and two sisters. Terry married the love of his life and eternal soulmate, Della Stevens Swafford on September 30, 1978; together they raised four boys. Terry was a local member of the Operating Engineers Union, Chapter 101, where he worked for 31 years at Park Lane Medical Center and Research Medical Center. Terry had many loves in his life. He road in a motorcycle club called the Vultures in his early years. His love for Harley Davidson motorcycles remained throughout the rest of his life. He also had an exquisite love for his animals including many dogs and a cat. Terry’s faith in his christianity was strong and very important to him. Terry’s greatest love and devotion remained with his family and friends. Terry was an active leading member in the local Narcotics Annonymous chapter. He helped to establish and cofound the Narcotics Annonymous (NA) Chapter in the Kansas City area. He also assisted in establishing the Straight Talk program in Independence. Terry was getting ready to celebrate his birth date of sobriety on January 31st. He was to celebrate his 32nd year of sobriety. He lived his life by the NA’s teaching of "one day at a time". He sponsored and influenced many people with whom he offered love and support unconditionally. He considered all of his friends a part of his family and invited them into his home to share good times and bad. He was honored to call his NA family his own. Terry was preceded in death by his father, Howard Swafford of Warsaw, MO and sister, Linda Snap of Kansas City, MO. Terry is survived by his wife, Della, of the home; mother, Blanch Snap of Warsaw, MO; sons Jeff and Ashley Marquez of Grain Valley, MO; Terry "TJ" Swafford Jr. and Shelley Slahck of Independence, MO; Jonathan Swafford (Emily Swafford) and Ashley Hill of Blue Springs, MO; and Jeremy Swafford and Shannon Duncan of Grain Valley, MO. Grandchildren include Caleb, Dominic, and Karma Marquez; Elizabeth and Jonathan Jr. Swafford; and Ian Duncan. Terry’s extended family includes Aunt Peggy Barker, Aunt Phyllis Loe, Uncle Don Loe, and Aunt Betty Jo Burchett. Siblings include: Brother, Howard "Cysco" and Rachel Swafford and children, Brother, David "Hoppie" Swafford; Brother, Clifford "Pancho" Swafford; Brother, Robbie Snap and children; Brother, Mike Snap; Brother, Butch Snap and son; Sister, Sharron and Ray Thebo and children; Sister-in-law Dorothy and Richard King and children. Nieces include Crystal Thompson and Jessica Downing. Terry was loved and respected by all who surrounded him. He made an eternal impact on many people’s lives. He will forever be missed, but never forgotten


  1. Todd Morgason on January 16, 2010 at 4:34 pm

    I will carry a piece (big piece) of Terry with me for the rest of my life. He gave me his love, friendship and guidance to become a better person. Simply put, one of the most influential men I have EVER had in my life. I am grateful to have had him as a part of my life and to be a part of his. Terry, I love you and thanks from my family for the love you gave me.

  2. Jonathan Ashley Elizabeth Jonathan Jr. Swafford on January 16, 2010 at 4:59 pm

    Thank you and we love you .

  3. A.J. Pica on January 16, 2010 at 6:37 pm

    Terry you had an impact on everyone you met. You were a true roll model. You will always be in my heart, and will be missed by many. I love you brother.

  4. A.J. Pica on January 16, 2010 at 6:37 pm

    Terry you had an impact on everyone you met. You were a true roll model. You will always be in my heart, and will be missed by many. I love you brother.

  5. Emily, Liz and Jonathan Jr. Swafford on January 16, 2010 at 7:08 pm

    There was no one like him. He was such a huge part of my life for so long and I will greatly miss him. My babies loved their Grandpa very much and they will always know what a wonderful man he was. We love you Terry.

  6. RAY on January 16, 2010 at 8:27 pm

    Terry, you will be truely missed by so many. You are a very good friend and mentoir to my life. I love and miss you. Ray H

  7. Kevin Hendley on January 17, 2010 at 12:13 pm

    Terry, what can anybody say. you were a huge part of so many people. The love you had for life, and the grnuine care and love you had for others. You were always there when anybody needed some one to talk to. You never slappeda hand away if it was aking for help. You always stood strong for your beliefs. You always called me on my shit, not to condem my, but out of true love. You will be missed my brother. Rest In Peace.

  8. TJ Swafford and Shelley Slahck on January 17, 2010 at 12:14 pm

    Dad, you were the best father a man could ever have. You taught me and raised me to be the man that I am today. We know that you had a big influence on many peoples lives and will continue to guide and stay with them forever. We love you dad and miss you so terribly much.

  9. Nancy Frantz on January 17, 2010 at 12:16 pm

    Terry how does one put in to words what you have done for so many people. You have touched so many peoples lives just by just being you. I will always remember your sense of humar and the love you showed me. Knoe that I will always be there for Della and the boys in anyway that I can. I LOVE YOU my friend.

  10. Barb and Charlie Wiseman on January 17, 2010 at 1:54 pm

    Della and family- we are so sorry for your Loss Terry has touched and changed so many people’s lives. You both had a hand in giving our Daughter back to us and our family. Terry you truely were are a Gentle Giant who did so much for others and saved so many. As the words of Vince Gill’s song ” GO REST HIGH ON THAT MOUNTAIN YOUR WORK ON EARTH IS DONE”. We all have a awesome angel looking out for us all. May peace be with you and no more suffering you are now free.. We Love and Honor you Terry!!
    Barb and Charlie Wiseman

  11. Donald Loe Sr on January 17, 2010 at 2:14 pm

    Terry was a good child when he was yound and a better man when he grew up. I know where he is going is a better place and well be meet by a lot of relatives and friend.Your uncle well miss you,my heart goes out to his family.

  12. Ashley Marquez on January 17, 2010 at 2:27 pm

    We will miss you always but never forget the man that you were to so many people. You called it like it was. Your boys will strive to be like you and your grandchildren will never forget their paw-paw. We know that Peace feels good!!! We love you-

  13. Pegleg on January 17, 2010 at 3:14 pm

    Terry was a great man with a big heart he loved to help people recovery and {my sportster}we spent a few long nights in his favorite place his garage!!! Terry will be truly missed in the physical realm his loving caring spirit will be around to help them ornery boys and many others and many others he loved and cared for!!! Your loving spirit and legacey will live on forever Amen!!!

  14. daniel serrano on January 17, 2010 at 4:07 pm

    Terry you are a great man. Your legacy is an inspiration for me to better myself as a person. You have left a positive impression on many, many peoples lives and your geniune compassion for the well being of others has been truly remarkable. You really are one in a million and I am sincerely glad to have had the pleasure of having you and your family in my life.

  15. Lynda Conway on January 17, 2010 at 10:26 pm

    With deep sorrow I cry because I am human and selfish, For Terry I rejoice.

  16. Stephanie Wright on January 18, 2010 at 7:53 am

    I have only known Terry for 13 years, but from the moment that I met him he never minced his words. Straight forward and would tell me the truth. He never could get my last name right for the longest he would call me Jewell even though I was divorced for 3 years, then he would make fun of my maiden name Cox til it drove me insane. In my first 2 years of recovery he adopted me as his daughter, his special one to continue what God has set before us. He said ” Sis you know that God has a special plan for. People do not like to hear the truth, but you not here to make friends we are here to help save lives”. He continued to say that you just may piss some people off but at least you will get them thinking. It is not your cross to bare if people stay or go, but it is your cross to bare that you do what God wants and needs you to do. The last time I saw Terry was at the Holiday dinner, he looked healthy, happy and peaceful. That is the image in my mind that I wanted to keep. He has fought a long, hard battle with staying here to do God’s will and work. He has touched the lives of thousands of addicts, alcoholics and down right crazy people. He and Della would detox people on their couch before there was an NA, they carried the message of recovery to jails, hospitals and institutions before NA came alive. They are both a huge part of process of helping NA grow.They have opened their homes on all the holidays allowing anyone to stop by and eat, get some fellowship and not be alone. I believe like Terry that love gets repaid ten times over again and then some. Terry, needs us to help hold his wife up and keep her surrounded in the love of this fellowship. I have so much respect for Terry and Della’s sons they have always been accepting of what their parents have done for us. They shared their father with us, like Terry would always share his father’s love with anyone that he could hold captive long enough to listen. Terry told me when I had 2 years clean that it was my job to leave the newcomers along and let them recover. Get with my sponsor and work the steps, find God and continue on the path of recovery. On that day I told him that I believed that God gave me a spiritual father here on earth to help me stay clean and give me the love I needed that my own blood father took from me some years earlier. So Terry said “Sis you are my daughter through the spirit of God’s love”. I know Terry may not be here in phyiscal form but his spirit will live on in each one of us, so if I say something that pisses you off, you better say thanks to Terry for that. Terry loved to carry the message and may the message carry on living through the miracle we each got to experience Terry and Della’s love. I will always love you and I thank you for nagging me to the point that I finally accepted God’s precious gift to tell the truth and keep seeking God’s Will. Bye for now my spiritual father.

  17. Bradley Freilich on January 18, 2010 at 1:30 pm

    Terry will forever live in our memories as a brave and courageous man. He brought inspiration to us all for his resilience and kindness.

  18. Gordon and Janet Stegner on January 19, 2010 at 6:52 am

    So sorry for your loss ….but the man will live on forever in all the lives he has touched. Our prayers are with you and all at this time.

  19. Steve Blair on January 19, 2010 at 12:32 pm

    I have often thought about Terry. I will miss him. So sorry for your loss.

  20. Edie DeBuhr on January 19, 2010 at 7:27 pm

    Terry I will always remember you from our days at Park Lane and will forever miss you. I know that you are up in heaven with my honey and no more pain or suffering. Della, TJ,Jonathan,Jeremy I am always here for you guys. I love you all.

  21. Jim Foster on January 20, 2010 at 12:54 pm

    Della & family
    Terry was a wonderful friens -worked at Parklanemany years – great memories – when I retired Terry gave me a watch with this Scripture in it Pro. 17:17 “A friend kiveth at all times” Terry & Della truly our friends

  22. Jim Foster on January 20, 2010 at 12:55 pm

  23. LAURA DORTON on January 20, 2010 at 4:08 pm

  24. Irish Mike McCann on January 20, 2010 at 4:44 pm

    You will missed brother.We rode a few miles laughed and talked and cried about program. You lived the deal my friend.Love ya and plan to see you on that broad highway………..Later

  25. Laura Dorton on January 20, 2010 at 5:24 pm

    Terry, i will always remember you from our days at Park Lane. You will be missed

  26. Sheila Butler on January 21, 2010 at 12:36 am

    Terry, we have only known you for a few years and met you through Straight Talk when you became Jason’s sponsor. He looked up to you in a way that touched my heart. I am sure that you have touched many hearts and you will be missed. We love you Terry. Sorry for your loss, Della and family. We all love you. Sheila, Jason and Brian.

  27. James J. McGill on January 21, 2010 at 11:40 am

    My condolences to Della and her family. Terry will be missed very much by many, many people and I am grateful to have called him my friend. Peace James

  28. Deanna Roper on January 21, 2010 at 12:30 pm

    Della,TJ,John,Jeremy&Jeff, Terry was a wonderful man and i wanna thank your family for sharing your him with me @ Joe and our family.When we first met him 4 years ago we realized we were right where we needed to be Terry told it how it was even if we did not want to hear it.Just know he is now our Gaurdian Angel looking down on us to keep us safe.Terry, We Love you and you will be in our hearts and we will greatly miss you….LOVE YOU BOSS…..

  29. Jim and Judy Foster on January 21, 2010 at 4:18 pm

    Della & Family,
    A wonderful friend – worked at Park Lane many years. Great memories. When I retired Terry gave me a watch with this scripture on it, Proverbs 17:17 “A friend loveth at all times”. Terry and Della, truly our friends!

  30. Jim Foster on January 21, 2010 at 4:25 pm

    Della & family,
    A wonderful friend I enjoyed working with at Park Lane for many years. Great memories! When I retired, Terry gave me a watch with this scripture on it: Proverbs 17:17 “A friend loveth at all times”. Terry and Della, you are truly our friends!

  31. kathy on January 26, 2010 at 8:27 am

    I knew Terry from the old Park Lane days. He was truly a nice man. I hadn’t seen him for a few years but when I did he was still the same old Terry. My prayers are with you at this very difficult time. God bless you. Kathy

  32. della swafford on February 8, 2010 at 6:57 pm

    Terry, we made it until death due us part. Itruly believe you are not sufffering now. The hard part is that I am. you have loved me over half of my life, and to my amazement we stay together. God gave both of us a life worth living and I will be greatfull for the rest of my life ,I experience what the one true love of my life was you . My heat has been broken but one day you will put it back together when we meet in heaven. You will be a part of me and I will be a part of you till the day I die. There will be no other that will give me the love you have for 32 years I am a very lucky woman today to say I have been love that way. until we meet again you will always have my heart ILOVE YOU ! ROSE

  33. Susan Walker on March 17, 2010 at 1:06 pm

    Sorry to hear of your loss. I worked at Parklane when Terry did.

  34. Smitty on June 27, 2022 at 6:10 am

    I knew Terry through this brother David Hoppy. We where in the army together. Terry gave me a ride to work everyday at G.M. back in1972. He was a good man, and a blast to be around so funny. You are missed Butterball, your friend Smitty.

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