Dr. Robert Thomas Swindell , 76, of Little Rock lost his courageous war with cancer. Born in Greenfield, Tenn., to Jewel (Overton) and Chester Swindell on Feb. 22, 1938, Dr. Bob’s quick wit and love for people won him a special place in the hearts of those he encountered.
Bob graduated Messick High School in Memphis where he proudly served in ROTC. His undergraduate work was completed at Memphis State University, and he earned his doctorate in chemistry from the University of South Carolina. Post-Doctoral work was done at Iowa State University. He is a member of the American Chemical Society, Royal Society of Chemistry, Emeritus of University of Arkansas, and Alpha Omega Alpha.
He embraced his Chickasaw heritage and co-founded Minority Access to Sciences and Math. He was the founder of American Indian Renaissance Organization. Dr. Bob served as Chairman of Department of Chemistry at Tennessee Technological University and the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, where his department awarded the University Department of Excellence Award.
Bob was a beloved coach of basketball, softball, and football.
The softball field at Tennessee Tech even bears his name. His team won two softball national championships.
He is married to Joanne; father to Melinda Swindell Davenport; grandfather to Allyson George and Mariah Pitts (Eric); and great-grandfather to Riley Jo Young. He is also survived by his father-in-law, Rev. Daniel Swim (Marsha); sisters-in-law, Connie Corney and Karolyn LeBlanc; brothers-in-law, Brian Keddy and Danny Swim; nieces; nephews; and a host of cousins and friends.
The family thanks Dr. Donald Bodenner, head and neck oncologist; Dr. Charles Smith, family doctor at the UAMS; and to the Baptist Health physical and occupational therapy teams. Thanks also to our wonderful neighbors and friends who helped Bob through this difficult time in life.
Funeral service will be at 1 p.m., Thursday, April 17, at Christian Life Center, 12923 West Markham, Little Rock. The family will receive friends from 5 to 7 p.m. today, April 16 at Roller-Chenal Funeral Home Chapel, 13801 Chenal Parkway, Little Rock. Interment will be at Highland Cemetery, Greenfield, Tenn., at noon, Friday, April 18.
Memorials may be made to “Reinstituting Cultural Values for Native Americans,” (write check to Summer Youth Camp Fund) Box 746, Tahlequah, OK 74465 or to Tennessee Tech, Swindell/Jackson Fund for Sciences and Mathematics, 1 William L. Jones Drive, Cookeville, TN 38505.
Online guestbook: www.rollerfuneralhomes.com/chenal