Helena ‘Fay’ Swisher

Helena “Fay” Swisher, 79 of Folkston, died quietly in her sleep Tuesday morning September 1, 2020 at her home.  She was lovingly known as Momma Fay by many.

Fay was born August 8, 1941 in Miami, FL to the late Jacob and Pauline (Marcoux) Swisher.  A life-long Catholic, she was a member of St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church in Folkston.

Fay is survived by her daughter, Alicia (Daniel) Swisher Beverly; her stepchildren, Rollene Griffis Stafford and Lance Griffis; her grandchildren, Zachery Swisher, Sith Waters, Aydan Beverly, and Isabella Beverly; and her brother, Daniel Swisher.  

Preceding her in death in addition to her parents were her siblings, Paul Swisher, Jonathan Swisher, and Mary Ida Swisher Gibbs; her stepson, Robert Griffis; and her son-in-law, Robert Stafford.

Fay attended Catholic schools growing up in Miami and was so devout that she would walk 20 miles to attend mass if she didn’t have transportation when she lived in St. George.  She sang in the choir, was a talented flutist, and cooked meals for many socials.  Fay loved the outdoors and liked to camp and fish in addition to her gardening.  She lived in the woods for several years in a tent with her dogs.  It was in nature that she said she was the closest to God.  She had an amazing green thumb and once took home all the blue ribbons at the Florida State Fair for her plant entries which included several topiaries.  She was such a gifted gardener that she obtained a degree in Horticulture from North Florida Technical College.  You could ask Fay anything about plants and she had an answer for you.  

Fay took in many foster children over the years and never turned anyone away when asked if she would take them into her home.  Fay lived life her way.  She never met a stranger. 

Always ready to lend a hand to those in need, Fay would root for the underdog.

A memorial mass of Resurrection celebrated by the Most Reverend Jacob Almeter, was held on Saturday, September 12 at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church, Folkston.  A rosary service was held 30 minutes prior to the service.  

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church, your local animal shelter or a charity of your choice.

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