Funeral services for Thomas H. Swearingen, 74, Lawrence, KS, will be held at 10 a.m. Monday, August 15, 2011 at Warren-McElwain Mortuary in Lawrence. Burial will follow in the Clinton Cemetery in Clinton, KS. He died on Thursday, August 11, 2011 at the University of Kansas Medical Center in Kansas City.
He was born on September 14, 1936 in Horton, KS, the son of Roger O. & Alberta Kinkade Swearingen.
He was a 1960 graduate of Kansas University with a B.A. degree in Graphic Arts.
Tom was retired as the Director of Exhibits at the Dyche Natural History Museum on the University of Kansas campus. He had worked there from 1960 to 2001. While there, he was well-known for his exhibit of “Comanche”, the lone military survivor of the Battle of the Little Big Horn with General Custer and Chief Sitting Bull. He had worked both internationally and in this country on special exhibits and set-up the National Museum in Bahrain. He devoted much time to creating exhibits of dinosaurs and other prehistoric creatures.
He was a member of the Shetland Pony Association of America, and the Kansas Taxidermist Association.
He was married to Nancy Wempe on August 26, 1967 in Lawrence, KS. She survives of the home.
Other survivors include a daughter, Heather Van Swearingen, of Marinwood, CA, three sons; Thomas H. Jr. (wife, Kristy) Swearingen, in Elgin, IL, William C. “Bucky” (wife, Cindy) Scribner, of Camdenton, MO, Rocky (wife, Becky) Swearingen, of Lawrence, KS, a sister, Patsy (husband, Larry) Lehew, of Horton, KS, eight grandchildren and two great grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents and a daughter, Suzanne Swearingen.
The family will greet friends from 2-4 p.m. Sunday at the mortuary.
The family suggests memorials in his name to the Leukemia Society or to the charity of the donor’s choice and may be sent in care of the mortuary.