William Harry Swicord passed away peacefully surrounded by his family on Sunday, February 26, 2023 at East Georgia Medical Center in Statesboro, Georgia. A private graveside service will be held Wednesday, March 1, 2023, at Bonaventure Cemetery in Savannah, Georgia with Rev. Brandon Williams officiating. A Celebration of Life Memorial will be held at a future date.
Harry was born February 4,1933 in Quitman, Georgia, the son of the late Earl Luther Swicord, Sr. and Ruth Norris Swicord where they lived for two years. The family then moved to Savannah and later Statesboro before settling in Smithfield, NC where Harry graduated from Smithfield High School in 1952. He went on to attend and graduate with a degree in accounting from Wake Forest University where he was a member of the men’s basketball team, Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity and a part of the last class located at the old campus. In later years, Harry would go on to earn his Master’s degree from the LSU School of Banking of the South.
After graduation, he joined Coral Gables National Bank on Miracle Mile in Miami FL to begin what would be a very successful and influential career in the banking industry. Wanting to move back to Savannah, Harry joined Liberty National Bank in the late 50’s to establish an audit department. After Liberty National Bank transitioned to Trust Company Bank of Savannah GA, Harry became the youngest Vice-President in the history of the company and would go on to serve as Executive Vice-President and President. In the early 90’s, operating as SunTrust Bank of Savannah the Savannah market enjoyed $150 million in assets and under Harry’s leadership the assets grew to just under $700 million as he went on to serve as President and Vice-Chairman of the Board - the position he held until his retirement. In addition to his vast responsibilities in banking, Harry was a true community advocate, serving on multiple boards for major corporations and charitable organizations. Because of his expertise in numerous industries, he was highly sought after to serve on the Board of Directors of large businesses such as S.A Allen Company, Natrochem and Carey Hilliard’s. Charitable organizations included United Way of Savannah and March of Dimes. In addition, he served in leadership positions for the Savannah Economic Development Authority, Georgia Southern University Foundation, and the Savannah Symphony. His reputation in these areas was evidenced by the success of these entities as a result of his leadership.
Perhaps Harry’s most important contribution to Savannah was when he was asked by the Chairman of the Chatham County Commission, Charlie Brooks, to serve as treasurer of the Memorial Medical Hospital Board and in doing so take on additional responsibilities that would help expand all services provided by Memorial. In accepting this request, Harry, along with other members of the hospital board, were able to create a financial environment that allowed for extensive capital improvements supported by additional Certificates of Need to allow for a regional trauma center, life star, vascular center, the Provident Building, Georgia Eye Institute and Home Health Care. Harry provided great leadership for 20+ years allowing Memorial Health to reach a level of unprecedented success at the time of his retirement as Chairman of the Board.
Harry loved life and enjoyed sharing it with others. His large laugh and genuine interest in others earned him many friends and admirers. While a member of the Bull Street Baptist Church, Harry served as a Deacon, church treasurer, and Director of Sunday School. He was also an avid stamp collector, accomplished fly fisherman and a member of the Savannah Golf Club where he enjoyed being a scratch golfer and frequenting the Men’s Grill. Harry was also a member of the Savannah Yacht Club and The Oglethorpe Club. But most of all, he enjoyed spending time with his family.
Survivors include his wife, Anna Marie Swicord; son, Shawn Corbett (Liz), daughter, Lisa Swicord Penny (Darrell), Wilmington Island, Ga; Bob Swicord, MD, Oklahoma City, OK and Ken Swicord (Pam), Register, Ga.; grandchildren, McKenney Corbett, Michael Corbett, Grace Ann Corbett, all of Statesboro, Ga; mother of his children, Bootsie Swicord of Savannah, Ga.; and many nieces and nephews.
In lieu of flowers, the family request donations be made to Connection Church earmarked The Button Project, 1342 Cawana Road, Statesboro, Georgia 30458 or a donation may be made to a charitable organization of your choice.
Deal Funeral Directors of Statesboro is in charge of the arrangements.