She was born Edla Dorothea Swaidmark at Orange General Hospital in Orlando Florida 0n April 23rd, 1930. She passed on to our Lord on April 17th, 2023, at Orlando Regional Medical Center.
She was born into the family of Albin and Agnes Swaidmark of 143 E Muriel St. Orlando. She was one of four sisters all of whom loved the Lord and glorified him through their music. She attended Delaney St Elementary School, Cherokee Junior High School and Orlando High School, Graduating in 1948.
At OHS she graduated 3rd in her class. She was listed in “Who’s Who” among students in American High Schools, National Honor Society, Allied Youth, Choristers, Youth for Christ Club President, Torch Society, Girls Drill Corp, Operettas, State Music Clinic and Festivals, First Baptist Church Library Assistant, Youth Council President, Girls Sextet singing at International Convention of Youth for Christ, chosen to be Musical Personality of the Week, and Radio Vocal Work.
She enrolled in the freshman class at Wheaton College in the fall of 1948. While home on summer break in 1949, she met and fell in love with Ellis Saxon. She returned to Wheaton in the fall and in February 1950, Ellis flew up with marriage proposal and Diamond ring in hand. The traditional Tower Bell ringing out the news of the happy couple. The wedding bells rang July 28th, 1950, at First Baptist Church Orlando. The marriage prospered until her passing, 73 years later.
Ellis’s employment had them moving around for their early years. While living in Atlanta Georgia, her first born, daughter was born, four years later her son was born in New Orleans Louisiana. After her son was attending first grade, she enrolled at Huntington College. In 1968 she graduated “Cum Laude” with a B.A. in Education. 1969 brought the family back to the Orlando area. Here she was a public-school teacher at Sanford Middle School and Pineloch Elementary School. Concurrently she attended Florida Technological University. In 1976 she graduated with a master’s degree in education. She then began working at Boone High School in the Special Education Dept. She eventually rose to Dept Chair where she served many years until her retirement.
In 1983 she a saw local news story looking for a home for a local young man in the state system. She and Ellis agreed to foster and later adopt the teen. Her love and care enhanced his life and he grew to be a fine man and her third child.
Throughout her life she was an active chorister and soloist at all the churches she was member. First Baptist Orlando, Tabernacle Baptist Atlanta, First Baptist New Orleans, First Baptist Montgomery and College Park Baptist. She was also a pianist and handbell ringer. Among her solo works are soprano solos in Handel’s Messiah, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Hayden’s Creation and numerous traditional anthems.
She was a dedicated and effective bible scholar and Sunday school teacher.
Though all her accomplishments are notable, she valued most her contributions to her family and her church. She praised the Lord through music for over 50 years. She has always been, since receiving Christ as a girl of eight, an ardent and committed Christian. She believes “…while we are yet sinners, Christ died for us“ Romans 5:8.
She is survived by her husband, 3 children, 9 grandchildren and 10 great grandchildren.