Lester Franklin “Frank” Swords, a retired financial executive and local philanthropist, died Sunday, Aug. 26, 2012, at St. Francis Hospital in Memphis due to complications from brain surgery. He was 69.
Swords was born in Ecru and moved to Memphis to attend Memphis State University, where he earned his Master’s degree in accounting.
He began his accounting career as a cost accountant for Dover Elevator Corporation in Horn Lake and later became Chief Cost Accountant for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Memphis, Tenn.
In 1972 Frank joined NSA as its first CFO and later became Chief Operating Officer. During his more than 20 years in that capacity, Swords was instrumental in seeing NSA grow from a small Memphis company to a worldwide leader in the Direct Selling Industry, operating in over 25 countries.
After his retirement, Swords pursued his two loves in life, hunting and horses. His world famous Sword Point Percheron Farm was home to more than 50 Percheron draft horses along with a collection of buggies, surreys, stage coaches, wagons and horse-drawn farming vehicles. His participation in countless parades, weddings, field days and other events in the Holly Springs area is legendary.
Throughout his life, Frank was active in professional organizations, civic affairs and charitable endeavors. His generosity and kindness extended far beyond Memphis and Marshall County.
Frank Swords is survived by his wife of 32 years, Vicki Bishop Swords; brother, Phil Swords (Debbie); six daughters, Vicki Jo Swords, Cindy Swords (John), Mandy McMinn (Doug), Amy Mask (Perry), Holly Barker (Kyle) and Leslie Swords; seven grandchildren, Dana Messer, Sterlin McMinn, Josh Mask, Michael McMinn, Juston Mask, Eva Barker and Grayden Barker; and a multitude of nieces, nephews, cousins and friends. He was preceded in death by his parents, Lester and Mabel Swords.
Visitation was from 5 to 9 p.m., Tuesday, and funeral services will be held at 2 p.m., Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2012, both at Marshall Academy, 100 Academy Drive, Holly Springs, MS 38635.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests any memorials be directed to Marshall Academy or the Church Health Center, 1210 Peabody Avenue, Memphis, TN 38104.