LOS ANGELES — Dr. Hershel K. Swinger Sr. of Los Angeles passed away on Monday, May 23, 2011.
Dr. Swinger was born April 16, 1939, in Parsons to Fred and Eddie (Henderson) Swinger Sr. He attended Douglass Junior High School and graduated from Parsons High School before relocating, with his family, to Los Angeles.
Dr. Swinger was an ardent believer in the value of a higher education and worked tirelessly to achieve his goals. After a tour of duty in the U.S. Army, he earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from California State University-Los Angeles and became a professor of counselor education there. He earned his Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Southern California.
Dr. Swinger was a licensed clinical psychologist with more than 35 years of experience counseling individuals and families affected by violence and substance abuse. However, he dedicated most of his adult life to helping children recover from the trauma of family and community violence, abuse and neglect. He was a senior vice president of the Leadership Center at Children’s Institute International (CII) of Los Angeles. During his nearly 30 years of service at CII, Dr. Swinger developed many programs and initiatives. But he was likely best known for having created CII’s Project Fatherhood, a program designed to help low-income, urban fathers engage in the lives of their children in a meaningful way. This program has also received national recognition by the Obama administration as part of the president’s Responsible Fathers and Strong Communities Initiative.
He is survived by his daughter, Robbin Swinger Otey; his son, Hershel Jr.; his brothers, Fred Jr. and Stanley; his sisters, Marceal and Amanda; and numerous grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews.
He will be mourned and greatly missed by them and his many friends and colleagues.
Dr. Swinger was preceded in death by his wife, Sandra (Reese), his parents, his brothers, John, Wilbert and Ralph, and his sister, Constance.
Throughout his distinguished career Dr. Swinger received many accolades and honors. One of the latest was receipt of the Presidential Award for Leadership in Social Change by Walden University. Dr. Swinger had been scheduled to be the featured speaker and honoree at CII’s Fourth Annual Fatherhood Solution conference on Friday, June 17, in Los Angeles. He will now receive a tribute for his pioneering and visionary leadership during the opening session of the conference.
The service will be at 11 a.m. today at Zoe Christian Fellowship, located at 5315 W. Adams Blvd., Los Angeles, followed by a private interment.