7801 Deercreek Club Rd., Jacksonville, FL 32256

In Memoriam

In Memoriam

Barbara Ruth Wilson Swindell

July 24, 1939 – October 11, 2022


It is with great sadness that NEFAR has learned of the death of one of its longtime members, 83-year-old Barbara Ruth Wilson Swindell, co-founder, co-owner, and designated REALTOR® of River Point Real Estate in San Marco.

Barbara died on October 11, 2022, after a month-long fight to survive multiple maladies. A memorial service in her honor will be held at Southside United Methodist Church, 3120 Hendricks Ave., Jacksonville, FL 32207 on Friday, October 21, at 2 p.m. A reception will follow the service in the church’s rose garden. Also, in her memory, a tree will be planted outside her office at the Riverpoint Building on Hendricks Avenue.

Swindell was born in Birmingham, Alabama, and spent her early years in Coral Gables, Florida. At age 11, her family moved to Jacksonville near San Marco, an area where she lived for more than 70 years. She began her collegiate education at Jacksonville University but transferred to the University of South Carolina after she began dating Citadel cadet Bobby Swindell, whom she married in 1959. Barbara and her husband, Bobby, both attended Landon High School at the same time but did not formerly get to know each other while they were in school.

Barbara always had a mind for business negotiation and an entrepreneurial spirit. She looked for opportunities everywhere and acted upon them. After studying genealogy and antiques, she opened her first business, ’76 Antiques, which developed her interest in antique appraisals, estate liquidation, and real estate sales. She became a real estate professional in 1979 and two years later she earned her broker’s license. In 1983, she co-founded River Point Real Estate with Gloria Fechtel Andrew and another partner who moved on in a few years.

“Barbara saw the big picture and I saw the details,” said Gloria. “The most important thing about our business was that if we said we were going to do something, we did it. One of our goals for starting the firm was to share our experience and expertise with our agents and our buyers and sellers so all could be compensated fairly and reliably. We wanted to have a real estate firm where the agents’ commission was never changed by the broker. We instituted a compensation plan for our agents where the more they made, the more they received. It was a good incentive. Barbara instilled in everyone good business qualities resulting in several agents' success for over 25 years and a remarkable number of repeat customers and referrals, the ultimate compliment! She also retained many business friends as personal friends,” said Gloria.

In 1988, Barbara and her partners bought the Hendricks Avenue building where their real estate firm resides, and Barbara raised her family at a home within walking distance of her real estate agency. She took great pride in her real estate work and helped her real estate agents grow into seasoned professionals. As a sharp and meticulous business owner and broker, Barbara set an example for her River Point REALTORS®, including her daughter, Carrie, who is a NEFAR member and broker associate in the firm.

Although she was 83 when she passed away, Barbara never retired from real estate. She worked until she physically could not do so anymore.

Barbara is survived by her soulmate and husband of 63 years, Robert Swindell, her son Chris Swindell (Kathe), and her daughter Carrie Swindell Atkins, as well as four grandchildren, Lauren Nordvig, Robert Atkins, Zach Swindell, and Shannon Atkins.