Elma Moody Swain

Born in Harrisonburg, Virginia on September 13, 1922

Departed on April 7, 2017 and resided in Nashville, Tennessee

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Elma Moody Swain went peacefully to be with the Lord on April 7, 2017 at the age of 94 as the result of a stroke.  Born in Harrisonburg, VA on September 14, 1922, she had lived from childhood in Vinton, VA until moving to Nashville in 2016.  Elma was preceded in death by her husband, Edward Montague Swain; son, Lynn Dallas Swain; parents, Charles Dallas Moody and Hattie Pankey Moody; brother, Corporal Dallas Don Moody (U.S. Army Air Forces - WWII). She is survived by her son, Don Davis Swain and wife Louise; granddaughter, Anne Swain Miklos and husband Aleksandr; Grandson, Nathan Edward Swain; great-grandson, Jack Maxwell Miklos and great-granddaughter, Sarah Jane Miklos.

Her family and friends had the pleasure of her love and company for more time than most.  She traveled, attended college graduations and reunions, weddings, ceremonies of all kinds, and was able to make new friends even as the old ones faded.  She knew that she had been blessed with the longevity to know both grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

A graduate of William Byrd High School and Shenandoah Conservatory of Music (now Shenandoah University),

she taught music education for several years at Roland E. Cook Elementary and then taught private piano lessons for over 40 years receiving the Masters certificate from the Roanoke Music Teachers Association in 1961.  She was also a substitute organist, pianist, choir director and occasional soprano soloist for area churches.  She served as a board member, officer, and committee chair for national state, and local music organizations.


Elma was a Life Member of the National Federation of Music Clubs, the Virginia Federation of Music Clubs, and The Thursday Morning Music Club.  She was honored with the Nancy Hoback Milne Citation for Distinguished Service from the Virginia Federation of Music Clubs (1991) and selected as Vinton Mother of the Year – Arts and Sciences (1967).  She received a Distinguished Alumna Award for Service to the Community from Shenandoah University (1996) and represented the Class of 1943 at the induction ceremony of President               Tracy Fitzsimmons in 2008.  On March 31, 2017 Elma was inducted into the Shenandoah University Dayton Alumni Hall of Fame.

A member of Thrasher Memorial United Methodist Church for 89 years, she sang in the adult choir for over 70 years and was named Organist Emeritus.

The family will receive friends at Oakey’s Vinton Chapel from 2 to 4 PM and 6 to 8 PM on Friday April 21, 2017.

A funeral service will be held at Thrasher Memorial United Methodist Church, 707 Washington Avenue, Vinton at 11:00 AM on Saturday April 22, 2017.


In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Thrasher Memorial United Methodist Church, 707 Washington Avenue, Vinton, VA 24179; the Vinton Historical Society, 210 East Jackson Avenue, Vinton, VA 24179; or Shenandoah University, Attn: Jane Pittman, 1460 University Dr., Winchester, VA  22601.



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