Obituary of Doris Bandy Swanson
Doris Jean Bandy Swanson, 86, died peacefully in Durham, North Carolina, on May 1, 2019. A loving group of family, friends and caretakers were at her side.
When Doris Swanson was asked what her proudest accomplishment was, she said without hesitation, that it was being a mother, and she was very proud her three children. She had every reason to believe this was her greatest gift. As “mom,” Doris offered unconditional love, knew her children’s strengths and interests, set rules, encouraged and lead through example. Doris was also a beloved wife, sister, aunt, grandmother and friend, with a lifetime of accomplishments. She was born in Roanoke, Virginia on July 13, 1932. Her parents were Walter and Vedie Bandy.
Doris first saw her future husband, Ray Swanson, when the young man delivered ice to her home on Greenbriar Street in Roanoke. They attended the same high school, but did not start dating until both of them worked at Kress & Co., a large department store in downtown Roanoke. Doris’ administrative skills and hard work eventually brought an offer from Roanoke City Schools, where she accepted a position in the activity office at Jefferson High School.
Ray returned from his tour of duty during the Korean conflict, and they were married in November1954.
As newlyweds, Doris continued her work with the schools, while Ray completed his education, earning a B.S. Degree in Physics from Roanoke College. Once Ray accepted a position with Norfolk & Western Railroad (later Norfolk Southern) Doris became a full-time mother to three children: Ray Swanson Jr., Nathan Swanson and Jennifer Swanson, MD.
In 1977, after her youngest child had entered High School, Doris was accepted into a Nursing School program to earn a licensed practical nurse degree. She graduated first in her class, winning the top student award.
In 1982, after living 18 years in the Midwest, Ray and Doris Swanson returned to their hometown of Roanoke, Virginia. Ray retired from the railroad in 1986 and they began to travel extensively, visiting Canada, Mexico, Japan, China, Australia, Europe, and many parts of the United States. They also looked forward to the annual “after Labor Day” trip to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina with good friends Bill and Janet Pickle, Bill and Tootsie Ramsey, and Jim and Rachael Scott.
Ray and Doris were generous and active at Woodlawn United Methodist Church in Roanoke, Virginia. Their grace, love and family values lead to the couple acquiring important responsibilities as church stewards.
Doris is survived by her three children, Ray Swanson, Nathan Swanson, and Jennifer Swanson MD, all of Durham, North Carolina; two grandchildren, Lauren Swanson and Sally Swanson, both of Chapel Hill, North Carolina; brother-in-law Walter Massie, Marion, Virginia ; daughter in-law Sharon Swanson, Chapel Hill; numerous cousins and a hearty BichonFrise named Layla.
Doris’ husband Ray died March 27, 2008. They had been married 54 years. Her parents and siblings also preceded her in death.
The family will receive friends beginning at 10:00 am on Saturday, May 11, 2019 at Updike Funeral Home & Cremation Service, 1140 West Lynchburg Salem Turnpike, Bedford, Virginia. A funeral service will follow in the chapel at 11:30 AM with Rev. Willie Butler officiating. Interment will follow in the Nicopolis United Methodist Church Cemetery, 1158 Nicopolis Drive, (Route 784) Bedford, VA 24523.
A Memorial has also been planned in Durham, North Carolina on Saturday, May 18, 2019. The family will receive friends beginning at 1:30 pm at the Chapel in Croasdaile Retirement Village, 2600 Croasdaile Farm Pkwy, Durham, North Carolina 27705. The memorial service will follow at 2 pm with Reverend Denise Waters officiating.
Doris Swanson remained a positive life force until Alzheimer’s disease evaporated her lifetime of memories. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributing to the North Carolina Alzheimer’s Support Program at Duke University Medical Center. The address is:
Duke Medicine Development and Alumni Affairs
Attn: Lynda Heaney, Center for Aging Family Support Program
710 West Main Street, Suite 200
Durham, NC 27701
(Please reference Duke Family Support Program (#3910194) in the “memo” portion of your donation).
The family extends a heartfelt thank you to the kind and dedicated staff providers at Croasdaile Retirement Community who have cared for Doris Swanson since 2012.
For more information:
Updike Funeral Home website: updikefuneralhome.com
Croasdaile Retirement Village website: www.croasdailevillage.org
Arrangements are being handled by Updike Funeral Home & Cremation Service, Bedford, VA 24523 (540-586-3304)
1140 W. Lynchburg-Salem Turnpike (Rt 221/460) Bedford, VA 24523, US
Phone: (540) 586-3304 Fax: (540)586-2084
11351 Leesville Road, Route 43 South Huddleston, VA, 24104, US
Phone: (540) 297-4966 Fax: 540-586-2084