John Robert Swindell

John Robert Swindell passed away Tuesday, February 4, 2020, at “The Farm” in Fresno, Texas. He was 80 years young.

Robert was born in Dallas, Texas in June of 1939, to Rolla and Jean Swindell. The family moved to Houston when Robert was 13. He graduated with a Master’s in School Administration from the University of Houston and went on to work for the Houston Independent School District.

Robert leaves behind his only sister, Suzanne Mundy; nephew, Roy Mundy; niece Robyn Mundy Neidig and her husband Major Neidig.

Although Robert never married or had children of his own, he was a father figure to many throughout his life. Children were his first love and seeing to the needs of others was his passion. He drove a school bus starting when he was 18 and taught science for HISD. After retiring from the classroom, Robert became the Attendance Specialist for the district, helping students who lost their way from the classroom to find it again whenever possible.

In addition to public teaching, Robert served The Boy Scouts of America in multiple capacities and was a member of The Arabia Shriners and Masonic Grand Lodge of Texas Park Place No. 1172. In his “retirement from 39 years with HISD” he volunteered as a wheelchair van driver transporting children for the Houston area Shriner’s Hospitals and provided audio/visual engineering support for Shriner’s parades and events, including the annual Arabia Shrine Circus.

Robert lived for solving problems to help others (and was a teacher to everyone even outside the classroom) in multiple domains including auto mechanics and electrical issues. He enjoyed classic cars and his lifelong love of all genres of music contributed to his fascination with audio equipment, managing sound engineering for his niece’s singing performances and becoming an avid jukebox collector.

To know Robert, or “Bob” or “J.R.”  or “Uncle Bob” or “Uncle Robert”… is to know that he touched countless lives in immeasurable ways. Multiple generations of his past and current “students” will reflect on his humor and generosity, at his passing, each with their unique fond memories.

The family will receive friends from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Thursday, February 13, 2020 at Crowder Funeral Home in Pearland, Texas with a service to follow on Friday, February 14, 2020 at 2:00 p.m.

Memorial contributions may be made in his name to Shriners Hospital for Children – Houston at 6977 Main St, Houston, Tx 77030.


  1. I had Mr. Swindell as my 9th grade science teacher…back in the late 70s. I met him for the first time when I was in 7th grade though because I used to lock my bike outside of the science building each morning. I referred to him as either “Uncle Bob” or “JR”. Sometimes he’d correct me about that but most of the time he’d just smile and tell me — “get you butt in my classroom”. His classes were always a pleasure to be in as he was always doing something to keep us challenged and interested. He was an exceptional teacher! He is probably one of the reasons that I have worked in a science/medicine related field for the last 30+ years. Unfortunately, I haven’t seen him many years but his guidance while I was at Johnston will always be remembered by me.

    My prayers are with his family and I know that he will be truly missed!

    Mitch Simons
  2. You will forever be my most memorable teacher. You were loved and remembered by many of us from Johnston Jr. High. I am so grateful we were able to reconnect after so many years. I will truly miss you Mr. Swindell.

    Judy Jackson
  3. My mom passed away at a very young age , Bob always looked out for me after my moms death , he made a huge impact on many of our lives as a child . Rip Mr. Swindell

    Charlie Osborne
  4. He was my science teacher and bus driver while I was at Westbury. Years later he was a truant officer for HISD and he helped me get a child I was taking care back to his father and step mother in Califonia. He was such an awesome man!

    Marilyn Moon Ontiveros
  5. i met Bob through my good friend Kirk where he volunteered to take on the thankless unpaid position of setting up and running the sound system for our little band. He was simply amazing! He had so much patience and calm and compassion – which he needed sometimes dealing with our mercurial group. And he was a genius in solving problems both electrical and personal. Passion and care for his fellow man ran through every vein. Just a wonderful man who will be sorely missed. Until we meet him again.

  6. I didn’t know Bob while at Westbury, but got to meet him many years later as a friend of TJ Gaines. At the time, Bob was transporting kids for Shriners Hospital and volunteering in other capacities as well. I spent many hours swapping stories and weighing the state of the world with Bob. Heart and Hope were forever his story. My own kids delighted in seeing him and hearing the latest tale. He may not have had his own children, but legacy is surely met in the hundreds of lives he touched along the way. I will miss you, Bob. Your life of service to others is humbling and inspiring. Love and Godspeed, my friend.

    Ben Carrettin
  7. To a friend not seen enough but definitely remembered. Highlights including the rodeo carnival in the early 70s, Colorado trips, Robyn concerts, and going with me to visit my Pop with whom it all started! May all your family find comfort in remembering the great times spent and know that you are in a blessed place Above.

    Past, present, future . . . God bless and sincere regards from deep down in Texas.

    Mike Johnson
  8. What a wonderful life of serving others.

    Leonard Dudley
  9. Mr. Swindell was one of the best teachers I ever had in my life! I have so many stories, that it would be a small novel. The world has lost a wonderful man! R.I.P. Bob! You will never be forgotten. Ruben Anthony Cuellar (One of your many grateful students)

    Ruben Cuellar

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