TIFTON — Mary Annette Bradford Rigdon Swan was born on June 1, 1919 in Plains, GA. She was received into Heaven on June 29, 2018.
Annette’s long life was filled with love of family, faith and art. She is survived by three generations, including four children, Annette "Snookie" Brown (Bernie), Frank Leonard Rigdon (Patty), Donna Rigdon Jones (Darryl) and Joseph "Brad" Bradford Rigdon (Debbie) and two step sons, Eric Swan (Theresa) and Alan Swan (Lynn). Nineteen children call her "Grandmother," and thirtyone call her "Great Grandmother." A family gathering was held on June 1st to celebrate her 99th birthday and was a joyous gathering of over thirty family members spanning all generations.
Annette’s devotion to art began with her education at Huntington College where she studied art after graduating from Tifton High School, Class of 1936. After two years of college, World War II brought an end to many plans and the beginning of others. Annette married Frank Leonard Rigdon on December 12, 1941, just after the bombing of Pearl Harbor and before her new husband would be called in to duty in the Western theater. First child, "Snookie," arrived during the War followed by Frank, Jr. just as the War ended. Donna and Brad were born after returning to Tifton, where the family made their home for over seventy years.
After the death of her first husband, Annette married another World War II veteran, long time Tifton resident, Howard I. Swan. She welcomed two stepsons, Eric and Alan, into her family. Annette and Howard enjoyed over thirty -five years together, traveling the world, visiting family and participating in art shows.
Annette was a devoted member of the First United Methodist Church of Tifton participating in Bible study and many activities. Her painting series, "Women of the Bible," adorns the Fellowship Hall. Annette lived her life guided by faith and belief that she would always be led by her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. One of her favorite Bible verses was Phillippians 4:4: "Rejoice in the Lord always. Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Jesus Christ."
Annette was preceded in death by her beloved parents, Joseph and Adeline Bradford, siblings, Mary, Adeline and Joseph Jr. and husbands, Frank and Howard. She leaves a legacy of deeply felt family love and an appreciation of the arts which has been shared with her family as well as many to whom she taught art in the Tifton community.
Annette will be remembered for her family, faith, artistic talent and great beauty. She was a remarkable woman of tremendous fortitude who believed, "You reap what you sow." The seeds of her well-lived life happily grow in the multitude of lives she touched.
The family wishes to extend heartfelt gratitude to Annette’s nephew, Dr. Steve Rigdon, and her care team Debra, Mary Ann, Lenore and Hospice of Tift Area. A memorial service honoring Annette Rigdon Swan will be held Saturday, July 7, 2018 at 1:30 pm, at the First United Methodist Church of Tifton with a reception to follow in the Social Hall. Grandsons will serve as pallbearers.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Tifton Museum of Arts and Heritage or the First United Methodist Church of Tifton.
Albritton Funeral Directors is in charge of the arrangements.