School 25

Ruthe J. Swinson

December 2, 1930 ~ September 10, 2020 (age 89)


Ruthe J. Swinson, peacefully transitioned at her home in Washington, DC on September 10, 2020, following a brief illness. She is survived by her beloved husband of 29 blissful years, Dr. Benjamin L. Swinson (Lieutenant Colonel, Retired); daughter Valerie Farmer; son Blair Farmer;  stepchildren Marjorie Swinson and Leon Swinson (Robin); granddaughters Morgan Walters and Zoe Swinson; grandson Daniel Swinson; and other relatives and life-long friends.  Ruthe was 89 years young, with keen intellect, humor, style, and grace. Her talents and interests included gardening, gourmet cooking, entertaining, traveling and exploring the world. She was an avid theatergoer and enjoyed good music of all genres. She was truly a gifted Renaissance woman! 

Ruthe was a professional educator whose career included employment as an Education Analyst with the U. S. Department of Education, and a researcher with the National Urban League. In 1976, she accepted a fellowship at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where she completed all requirements, short of the dissertation, for the degree Doctor of Philosophy.  She later served in key administrative roles with the District of Columbia Public Schools, retiring in 1993. Throughout her career, she worked tirelessly to elevate the standards of living for African Americans and other historically underserved groups. She maintained a keen interest in the Black Freedom and Civil Rights Movements throughout her life. 

Ruthe and Benjamin travelled to more than 30 countries. Ruthe meticulously documented their journeys, allowing others to live vicariously through her camera lens. She brought wisdom and sunshine to her family and many friends.

 In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to the American Cancer Society or St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.


To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Ruthe J. Swinson, please visit our floral store.


September 30, 2020

6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
McGuire Funeral Home
7400 Georgia Avenue N.W.
Washington, DC 20012

Private Services
October 1, 2020

11:00 AM

Video is available for this event

Interment at Arlington National Cemetery at a later date

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