Betty Mitchell Swiggett

September 5, 1931 - May 18, 2014
Betty Mitchell Swiggett

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Betty Mitchell Swiggett, 82, passed away on Sunday, May 18, 2014. She was born on September 5, 1931 in Newport News, Virginia to William Thomas and Elsie Perdue Mitchell.After graduating from Hampton High School, she earned a bachelorís degree of theology from Cleveland Bible College (now Malone University, Canton, OH) in 1952. She later attended Pasadena College (now Point Loma College, CA), earning a bachelorís degree of arts in 1955, and the University of Southern California, earning a masterís degree in English in 1958. While in California she married her husband, Sidney, in 1956. In 1991 she received her Ph.D. degree in English Education from New York University.

In 1959 she was employed by the Hampton City Schools as an English teacher at Hampton High School. In 1967 she as appointed Supervisor of English Language Arts for the school division, a position from which she retired from in 1991. In retirement she served as an Adjunct Assistant Professor in English Education at the College of William and Mary.

She led in the development of numerous elementary and secondary curriculum guides for the Hampton City Schools, some of which received nation recognition, and made many classroom visits to give teachers individualized help. She was a member of the Virginia Association of Teachers of English, serving as president in 1982. She served as a director of the National Council of Teachers of English, shared the NCTE Secondary Education Nominating Committee and the NCTE Advisory Committee of the Program to Recognize Excellence in Student Literary Magazines, and was a member of the NCTE Committee to Evaluate Curriculum Guides. She participated in numerous professional conferences as a workshop leader and speaker and published several articles in professional magazines.

For thirty-nine years she and her husband were members of First United Methodist Church, Hampton, where she served as chair of the Council on Ministries, the Administrative Board, the Advisory Committee for the Korean Ministry, and the 1995 Long-range Planning Committee. In 2003 when she and her husband moved to Williamsburg, they became members of Williamsburg United Methodist Church. She served as a member of the Williamsburg United Methodist Women Executive Committee and chaired several committees of the board. She was a member of the Mary Lou Clark/Heritage Circle. She served also as a trustee for the church.

Mrs. Swiggett is predeceased by her parents; her daughter Barbara Jeanne Swiggett; and brothers William T. Mitchell, Jr. and Cecil Ray Mitchell. She is survived by her husband of 57 years, Sidney; her brothers Charles Marvin Mitchell of Jupiter, FL, and Dr. Edward Lee Mitchell and his wife, Ruth Alma of Alliance, OH; and sisters Edith Irene Buss and husband, Dr. Siegfried Buss of Colorado Springs, CO, and Doris Marie Miller and husband, Philip of Bethel, OH; and many nieces and nephews.

The family will receive friends from 6:00 ñ 8:00pm Wednesday May 21, 2014 at Bucktrout Funeral Home. A memorial service will be conducted 2:00pm, Thursday May 22, 2014 at Williamsburg United Methodist Church, 500 Jamestown Road, Williamsburg, with a reception to follow in the Fellowship Hall. Burial will be private.

In lieu of flowers, memorial may be made to the Williamsburg United Methodist Church Building Fund; the Peninsula Pastoral Counseling Center, 707 Gum Rock Road, Newport News, VA 23606, or the Peninsula Crime Victims Council, 133 Deep Creek Road, Newport News, VA 23606.


Thursday, May 22, 2014
12:00 AM

Williamsburg United Methodist Church - Directions
500 Jamestown Road
Williamsburg, VA 23188

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  • May 20, 2014
    Doris Diggs says:
    Betty was the epitome of a Southern lady, always smiling and gracious. We will miss her beautiful smile and loving ways. God bless you Sidney and family. You are in my prayers.

  • May 23, 2014
    Carolyn Massie Chesson says:
    HHS '64 - Of all my teachers, Mrs. Swiggett stands out in my memory as a favorite. It turns out we really do appreciate those who insist on only our best and inspire us to soar. I feel very blessed to have had her touch my life as she did the lives of so many others.

  • May 20, 2014
    Audrey Smith Morrison says:
    HHS-1961 What a wonderful person--her standards were high

  • May 22, 2014
    Mike Morris says:
    Mr. Swiggett: I am very sorry for your loss, and pray that God will give you comfort and strenth, to go on till He calls you to be reunited with all of your family. Thank you for the love of music you helped give to me and the Hpt. class of 69. God bless you.

  • May 21, 2014
    Conover Hunt says:
    She was an outstanding teacher, very demanding. I benefited so much from her knowledge and love of English and literature. Rest in peace.