Melbourne Beach, FL
Eva Meaders (Ray) Swindall, 80, passed away on September 29, 2013, in Melbourne, FL. She was born December 4, 1932, in Cold Water, AL. After attending Anderson Preparatory School in South Carolina and Anniston High School, where she excelled as a champion swimmer, she continued her education at Auburn University.
In 1955 she moved to Melbourne, FL with her growing family.
Eva was a strong gifted teacher, supporter, and advocate for children. These talents were evident in her teaching at three (3) schools in Melbourne: a preschool for special students, Guerin Dare pre-school, and Holy Trinity Episcopal School. In Ozark AL, she opened Kinder-Venture, a school for preschool children, governed by her philosophy: “Our school teaches the three R’s, but does it in such a way that the children carry away the three L’s: each child love of himself, his love for other people, and his love of learning.” She also taught Sunday School at First United Methodist Church of Melbourne and Eastminster Presbyterian Church of Indialantic. She taught swimming and water safety classes to children and adults at the Fee Avenue Pool in Melbourne. Her tireless efforts to improve the lives of children were seen throughout her life by the large number of creative activities she produced. An excellent example of this talent is the many holiday parties that she prepared for children at the Master’s Work shop in Melbourne. Of Eva’s six (6) years of teaching preschoolers at Holy Trinity school, Father Alex Boyer had this to say “The children adore her and she is full of creative ideas that keep them interested in learning….her moral character is above reproach and she is a very forthright person; highly dependable, well organized, and persevering.”
An avid environmentalist, she was instrumental in the development of several parks and green spaces in Melbourne including: the Tot Lot/Candy Cane Park on Country Club Road and a city park near Babcock and New Haven Ave. As an active member of the Beach Gardeners of Melbourne Beach, she was honored in 1994 for her outstanding work “in planning, planting, and care of the Bicentennial Park.”
Eva also participated in the Melbourne Beach Historical Society. She was a member of the Melbourne Junior Women’s Club and serve as a fundraiser for the March of the Dimes.
Eva was preceded in death by her parents Leon Charles and Esther Ray Meaders and her beloved husband Paul M. Swindall. Eva is survived by her sisters: Francis Klein and Patricia Greer; her children: Charles Ray, Carlton Ray and Charlotte Covin; her grand children: Leah Necas, Sanna Festa, Taylor Ray, Caroline Howlett, Michelle Covin, Montana Ray, Amelie Ray and Katharine Whitney Ray; and great grandchildren: Tatyana, Peter, Eldon, Belle and Amadeus Ray Tate.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the after school program for children: The Master’s Work shop 2525 Lipscomb St. Melbourne, FL 32901.
There will be a private memorial service in celebration of Eva’s life.