Cover photo for James Don Swartz's Obituary
James Don Swartz Profile Photo
1935 James 2023

James Don Swartz

August 5, 1935 — May 25, 2023

Johnson City, TN – on Thursday, May 25, 2023, James Don “JD” Swartz passed away peacefully at Franklin Woods Hospital. JD was born August 5, 1935, to Don and Maude Jane Barnett Swartz. He lived a beautiful life of 87 years.


JD grew up in Johnson City, TN. He graduated from Science Hill High School where he was a member of the football team. His life displayed the ultimate story of how hard work and motivation as a young man led him to success. Immediately after high school, JD spent three years in the Merchant Marines. When he returned home in 1958, he began his first job in the newspaper business in Bristol, VA. Throughout his business journey, JD eventually became president of Worrell Enterprises that consisted of 33 newspapers and three television stations. JD ended his career as co-owner of Swartz-Morris Media.


JD’s main hobbies were hunting and golfing. He truly enjoyed golfing at the Johnson City Country Club where he had several hole in ones. He also enjoyed The Olde Farm and The Virginian courses.


JD truly believed in giving back to those who made a difference for others. He loved his church, St. John’s Episcopal Church and The Salvation Army.


JD was also very active in his community. He served on the board of directors for the Salvation Army, Girls Club, United Way, Bank of Tennessee, ETSU College of Business Board of Advisors, and the ETSU Foundation. He was also a member of the ETSU President’s Trust and the Hurstleigh Club.


JD’s main enjoyment was taking care of his entire family. He was preceded in death by his parents, his brothers (Eugene Swartz, Ralph Estes Swartz) and his sister (Freddie Lee Saylor). His surviving children are James Don Swartz Jr. (Cathy), Marcee Marie Whisenant (Allen), Janet Melissa Range (Gary), and Kelly Hull Swartz (Cheri). His surviving grandchildren are JD Range (Gabriella), Zoe, Cassie, Jet, and Larissa Swartz. His great-grandchildren are Jack Daniel and Kaitlyn Marie Range. JD wanted it known that he considered Dennis Stockton, one of his former employees/partners, an adopted and cherished son.


In lieu of flowers, the family ask that donations be made to the Salvation Army of Johnson City – JD’s most treasured organization.


The family of JD Swartz will receive friends from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM on Tuesday, May 30, 2023, at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Johnson City. A Committal service will be held at 2:00 PM the following day, Wednesday, May 31, 2023, at Monte Vista Memorial Park. Those attending are asked to gather at the graveside by 1:50 PM. Honorary pallbearers will be: Buck Bacon, CW Baskette, Rod Biasco, George Dykes, Jim McGlothlin, Charles Morris, Charles Hill Morris, Charles Steagal, Dennis Stockton, and John Tickle.


To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of James Don Swartz, please visit our flower store.

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Tuesday, May 30, 2023

5:00 - 7:00 pm (Eastern time)

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