Ruth Vivian Swafford, 96, passed peacefully into the arms of Jesus on October 20, 2022, in Houston. She was born May 30, 1926, in Gulf, Texas to the late Frank Everett and Rose Ryman Hatchett.

She was preceded in death by her beloved husband, Gordon Swafford in 1999, and her beautiful granddaughter Hayley McHam in 2013.  

Born three years before The Great Depression began, the youngest of seven lived with her Mama, Papa, and siblings in Matagorda County.  Ruth had the distinction of being the only Hatchett child born in a hospital.  Growing up, Ruth played sandlot baseball with neighbor kids, helped with family chores, and enjoyed going to the “talkies” with friends, when a nickel bought a candy bar.

During World War Il, Ruth’s family moved from Matagorda County to Newgulf, and it was there she met and married Gordon, the love of her life.  For 49 years, Ruth and Gordon were inseparable, raising a family and enjoying all that living in a tight-knit community offered.  Whether it was feeding the cows, fishing, or putting up hot garlic dill pickles, it was always enjoyed as a couple.

Ruth was a member of Newgulf Baptist Church and loved by all who crossed her path. She was a devoted wife and mother, avid gardener, extraordinary outdoors woman, and award-winning cook.   Ruth was truly blessed with the gift of hospitality, and no one ever left the Swafford house hungry.

For the last 15 years, Ruth lived in Houston to be close to her children and grandchildren.  New and old acquaintances were always greeted with a smile and the offer of something to eat, a gardening tip, or to reminisce about hunting and fishing in the good old days.  

She is survived by her daughter, Janelle Swafford of Hearne and son, Gary (Sherryl) Swafford of Houston.  Also surviving are her beloved grandchildren, Jessica (Stephen) Hawley, Lauren Puskas, and Lucas McHam, as well as her beautiful great-grandchildren, Brody Puskas, Harper Hawley, and Olivia Hawley.  

Visitation was held on Monday, October 24, from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. at Wharton Funeral Home, with a graveside service following at Evergreen Memorial Cemetery in Wharton.  Honorary pallbearers include Clint Hatchett, Scotty Simpson, Tim Morrow, Brian Prather, and Scott West.  

The family would like to thank the staff at Village on the Park Steeplechase in Houston for their loving care.

For those who wish to donate in lieu of flowers, they may be made to the Hayley McHam Memorial Scholarship, Blinn College Foundation, Brenham, Texas or to a charity of choice.  

Condolences may be left at

Services under the direction of  Wharton Funeral Home,515 E. Boling Hwy. Wharton, TX 77488. 979.532.3410.