Ms. Ernestine S. Swinton

April 27, 1921 ~ August 6, 2021 (age 100)


The Celebration of Life for Mrs. Ernestine Samuel Swinton will be Monday, August 16, 2021 at 11:00 AM at Trinity Baptist Church, 124 W. Darlington Street, Florence, SC, Rev. Dr. Calvin E. Robinson, Jr. Pastor. Interment will follow in Northview Cemetery. Public viewing will be 2PM – 5PM at Backus Funeral Home, 450 N. Dargan Street, Florence, SC 29506,, 843-662-0539. 

Mrs. Ernestine Samuel Swinton was born April 27, 1921 in Florence, South Carolina. She was the daughter of late Ernest and Emma Calperta Evans Samuel. Ernestine received her formal education in the Florence public school system, she attended Wilson High School.

At an early age Ernestine became a member of Trinity Baptist Church in Florence, SC, where she was a lifetime member.Ernestine met and married James Swinton Sr., and from this union there were (3) children Ruby, James, and Mary Swinton. She had (2) stepdaughters, Jessie Mae Samuel and Doretha Simmons. 

In the late 50’s, Ernestine believed in better opportunities for her family, so she convinced her family to move to Philadelphia, PA.   Her life’s destiny of overcoming challenges was set early in life. She believed in education and wanted her children to go to college to prepare for a better chance in life.  Ernestine Swinton made great sacrifices and worked several jobs to send her two children to college. She loved people and devoted her life to helping others (the elderly, homeless and under privileged).

In 1968, after her son James Jr. returned home from service, they started a business in Philadelphia, PA.  Ernestine and James were founders of Central Boarding Home Inc. and Waverly Residential Center Inc.  In 1976, Central Boarding Home Inc was established to aid the aged, poor, disadvantaged, and homeless, providing housing, support and rehabilitation services. The business was a family-owned and operated business for over 50 years. Central Boarding Home was one of the first black-owned and operated federal community correction centers in the country, located at the Francis House Community Correction Center, which provided treatment forprisoners from Bucks County, Montgomery County and Philadelphia County. Central Boarding Home and Waverly Residential Center operated from six different locations in Philadelphia.

She was a member of Fannie J Coppin Order of Eastern Stars Chapter No. 37, Prince Hall affiliated Pennsylvania and Pyramid Court No. 17, Daughters of Isis; auxiliary to Ancient EgyptianArabic Order Nobles Mystic Shrine, affiliated to the Prince Hall.  She became a member of Fannie J Coppin No. 37 in May of 1986 and was a lifetime member.

Family was most important. She enjoyed family holidays: Thanksgiving at Mary’s house and Christmas at James’s house. Each summer Ernestine would take the family on vacation. She never missed going to Florence to \visit her sisters and she enjoyed attending reunions such as Wilson High School Reunion and Homecoming, she always said she wanted her grandchildren to “Remember their roots and never forget where they came from.”

Ernestine was proceeded in death by her mother, Calperta Evans Samuel; father, Ernest Samuel; husband, James Swinton Sr.’daughters, Mary Swinton Jackson, Ruby Samuel, Jessie Mae Samuel, and Doretha Simmons; sisters, Caslee Green and Gladys Smalls; brothers, William Samuel and Herbert Samuel and grandson, Roy Jackson Jr.

She leaves to cherish her memories, one child James Swinton Jr.of Philadelphia, PA, one sister Eunice Bacote of Florence, SC, two brothers Ernest and Ronald Samuel of Delaware. In addition, special niece Betty Galloway of Florence, SC, hergrandchildren Mario Gooden of New York City, Rosa Swinton of Philadelphia, PA , great grandchildren Arianna and Gianna Meeks, and a host of nieces, cousins and devoted friends.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Ms. Ernestine S. Swinton, please visit our floral store.


Celebration of Life
August 16, 2021

11:00 AM
Trinity Baptist Church
124 west Darlington street
Florence, SC 29506

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