Walter Beauregard Swain, Jr., age 77, passed away on May 16, 2017 at his home in Leland, Mississippi. A celebration of his life will take place at 3:00 p.m. on Friday, May 19 at St. James Episcopal Church in Greenville. Burial will be in Leland-Stoneville Cemetery under the direction of Boone Funeral Home, Leland.
Walter was born on August 19, 1939 to Walter Beauregard Swain and Virginia Josephine Witte Swain of Leland, Mississippi.
Walter was a member of the Class of 1957 at Leland High School, where he was a National Merit Semi-Finalist. Walter attended Mississippi State University, where he was a member of the Kappa Alpha Fraternity. After graduating with a Bachelor of Science in 1962, Walter entered the University of Houston College of Law in Houston, Texas. At Houston Law, he earned the Am. Jur. award for the highest grade in Constitutional Law and was a member of the Phi Alpha Delta legal fraternity. After his father suffered a debilitating stroke, Walter returned to Mississippi to take over the family business and completed his law degree at the University of Mississippi in 1965.
Walter battled a heart condition for most of his adult life, beginning with a heart attack at age 40. Walter underwent two triple-bypass surgeries and other cardiac procedures over the next 37 years. Despite these obstacles, he maintained a successful law practice and active lifestyle. Walter was a respected attorney who practiced law in Greenville for over 50 years. For most of his legal career, he practiced with his brother, Kinney. Walter also served as County Prosecutor for Washington County from 1975-1979.
Walter was a devout communicant and coffee drinker at St. James Episcopal Church in Greenville, where he was elected as a member of the vestry. In 1995, he completed the Education for Ministry program at the University of the South’s School of Theology. Walter served for many years as a worship leader and Verger at St. James.
Walter was a history enthusiast and served as the de-facto historian for the Swain and Witte families. His recollections of the family’s heritage and traditions will be deeply missed. Walter was an avid reader, especially on the topics of history, politics, physics and religion. He also enjoyed collecting fossils on sandbars on the Mississippi River and trading stories with his friends over a cup of coffee at Jim’s Café.
Walter is survived by his wife of 47 years, Karen Gloppe Swain, his brothers, John W. Swain (Liz) and Kinney M. Swain (Ann), his three children, Meta Swain Copeland (Spencer), Johanna Swain Walker (Martin), and Walter Beauregard “Beau” Swain, Jr. (Nicole). He leaves behind seven beloved grandchildren, Walt Copeland, John Martin Walker, Emelie Walker, George Walker, James Swain, Colin Swain, and Robert Swain.
There will be a visitation one hour prior to services at the church. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to St. James Episcopal Church, Washington School, or the American Heart Association.