Juanita Swygert aka “Big Mama” passed away on Sunday, May 24, 2020 in Ponca City, Oklahoma. She was 96 years old and truly blessed over the years. Juanita was born on February 12, 1924 in McGehee, Arkansas to Josh and Laura Martin Bell.
Juanita was raised in Pickens, Arkansas. She married Edward Swygert in Dumas, Arkansas on February 28, 1949 and to this union there were four children; Jessie Shields, Ora Jackson and husband Curtis, of Ponca City, OK, Coy Swygert and wife Jackie of Victoria, TX and Willie Swygert and wife Cynthia of Dallas, TX. Also stepchildren; Edward Swygert, Jr, David Swygert, Laverne Swygert, Monzella Dorsey and Rosetta Davis. The family moved from Dumas, AR to Muskogee, OK in 1968 and later to Ponca City, OK in 1973 and remained here until her passing.
Juanita worked as a cook for many years. She also loved cooking for her family, so we could always get a good home cooked made from scratch Sunday dinner after church. “Big Mama” as she was affectionately known will be missed by her family and friends.
Juanita is survived by her children, 25 grandchildren, 64 great grandchildren and 45 great great grandchildren, and sisters; Veola Thompson of Bluff, AR and Reola Bealer of Ponca City, OK.
She is preceded in death by her parents, her husband, brothers; Josh Bell, Jr, Alfonso Bell, Percy Bell and Roy Bell, sisters; Rosie Wilburn, Ruth Jones and Mary Mingo, son-in-law, Joe Shields and grandchildren; Abraham Swygert and Quinecia Swygert.
A time of visitation will be held on Thursday, May 28th, at Grace Memorial Chapel from 10am to 7pm. Her Graveside Service will be held the following day, Friday, May 29th, starting at 10am at the Ponca City I.O.O.F. Cemetery.
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