Harold Duane Swalley passed away at home on Sunday, Feb. 12, 2023. He leaves behind his wife, Laura (Hartley) of the home, Marianna, FL; two kids, Jason (Kyra) McLaughlin, Denver, Co; and Rachael Marie Swalley, Lake Ozark, MO. Also, two grandkids, Dillon McLaughlin (Ashley Martinez), and Mya McLaughlin, and four grandkids, Alicia, Sophia, Adilyn, and Azrael of Denver and Artesia, NM.
Harold was born and raised in Pickering and Maryville, Mo. His parents, Nina Faye (Harper) and Francis Harold Swalley, and Grandparents, Burleigh Oakwell and Nina Veturia (Lamport) Swalley preceded him in death as well as his sister, Deborah Bix, and brother, Terry, and nephews, Steven Swalley and Chad Bix, and niece, Meggan McGuire. He leaves his brothers, Rick (Kathy), Hopkins, MO; Roger (Rosa) of Delhi, CA; Ben of Ravenwood, MO, and multiple nieces/nephews and several great nieces/nephews. Harold and Laura lived and traveled together many places including, southern California, Tampa, FL; Denver, CO, Des Moines, IA, and back to the family farm in Pickering MO, where they lived over 15 years. Later moving to Cape Girardeau, MO, then Leesburg and Inverness, FL, back to Lebanon, MO, where Rachael graduated high school, and back to the Florida Panhandle area, Marianna.
Harold was a master printer for many years, from his first entry level bindery and printing job, in Poukeepsie, NY, spanning time and distance to Ft Lauderdale and Tampa, FL, and Kansas City, MO, Omaha, NE; Des Moines, IA, printing for newspapers, Lane Blueprint company (KC), other press jobs making business forms, color advertising and magazines, and finally for the Maryville News Press, and Rush Printing in Maryville. During his time living in Pickering, Harold was a self employed farmer raising hogs, some cattle, and horses for Laura. He became an antique expert, owning his own antique and collectibles store, obtaining items at auctions and estate sales, and doing some antique repair work; and gaining lots of friends in the field.
Intermittently, he worked doing road maintenance in Maryville and Ravenwood townships, and at LMC Steel and Wire Co. Harold also loved to cook, and he had a mobile concession kitchen, attending fairs and festivals in the south and for a summer, he and Rachael toured fairs and festivals in the Midwest, where Rachael became his right hand. He later had a BBQ stand in Floral City, FL, and eventually opened up a BBQ restaurant, Dad’s Cook Shack in Ponce de Leon, FL; until he retired. Throughout his life and after retirement, Harold continued to indulge in antiquing, and he and Laura loved to go to the beach, to attend Blues and Rock live music venues; to enjoy large screen movie releases; travel to awesome scenic areas, parks and museums, and visit family and friends. He was an avid hunter through out most of his life, to supply the family with venison, and loved to fish for catfish and bass, crawdads for eating and for bait; and enjoyed getting fresh seafood—grouper, red snapper, scallops, etc.
Harold was an independent person from a young age. His grandma always said she could “set the clock by him” coming up the road to spend time with her and his grandpa, Burleigh. He quickly learned to leave the house early (to avoid having to do childcare of his younger siblings?) and he learned all kinds of farming, hunting, fishing, and butchering, preserving, freezing, and canning skills from them, as well as cooking skills. He attended a one room school for his first grade year at Bloomfield school, then elementary and secondary schools in Maryville. He left high school in Spring 1970 when they insisted that he should cut off his long hair, and he refused, and never went back. He and his friends loved Rock and Roll concerts and he often would hitchhike to Kansas City and Sedalia for multiple artists, and had some awesome stories about the artists and events he attended. Once, while living in Ft Lauderdale, Harold attended a birthday party for one of the Allmans’ and threw Greg, who reportedly was harrassing Harold, off the second floor balcony, and had to apologize to Greg’s mother before he left. Harold returned to Nodaway county in about 1983, where he met Laura, just finishing up her bachelor’s degree, and started dating. After her birthday that year, she joined him, and never left; finally marrying on Feb. 14, 1990—thus their 33rd and fortieth year anniversaries would have been this year.
Harold loved to cook for those he loved; he was always good with babies and children; he always had a listening and supportive ear for friends and family. He had a stubborn streak, and held definite opinions about the world and people; he was fair, he was thoughtful and honest, and had lots of people who called to ask his advice and get information from his extensive personal library of experiences and knowledge. He will be sincerely missed.
James & Sikes Funeral Home is handling arrangements.