In memory of
Mary Elizabeth “Betty” Swift was born January 3rd, 1929 to Willam Saunders and Mattie Bell Holmes Saunders at Abington Hospital and grew up in Hatboro and Horsham, Pa. In her teens, she moved to Willow Grove where she attended Abington Senior High School. She graduated in 1948 and went to work at the Signal Core in Philadelphia. Betty then worked as a receptionist for the first Black doctor in Abington Township, Dr. Reginald Pinkney. After Dr. Pinkney’s retirement, she worked for other doctors affiliated with Abington Hospital until her retirement. She was joined in holy matrimony to John Jerrell “Jackie” Swift, Sr. They were blessed with three children, Theressa, Eileen, and John, Jr. Betty gave her life to God at a tender age while attending Wright’s Tabernacle Pentecostal Holiness Church of Crestmont, Pa. It was there that God blessed Betty with the gift of music. Years later, Betty became a member of the First Baptist Church of Crestmont where she worshiped for well over fifty years. Betty lived a life dedicated to God always ready to be of service to the Lord and to help others. Betty served by playing the piano. So proudly, and, tremendously acceptable unto the Lord. She was so well known throughout the area that some people called her, “The Piano Lady”. Along with Inell Cason, Constance Grasty, and Lillian Palmer, the four joined together to form the gospel group, The Starlighters . The group was highly sought after to perform at churches throughout the region. The Annual Starlighters Anniversary concert programs drew the best guest soloists and choirs from the more than a dozen of the region’s churches and Philadelphia where they regularly sang. It was a festival of praise in honor of God. If you didn’t get there early you had to stand at the back of the church. Betty was loving and kind. She had a radiant yet humble personality. An easy laugh. She showed sincere concern for everyone she met. She greeted everyone as doll baby, sugar, in her sweet voice and warm presence. She was a devoted and loving mother. Mary Elizabeth “Betty” Swift lived her life as a devoted and faithful child of God.
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