The world became a brighter place on June 24, 1937, when Hurst arrived in Cushing, OK. He was greeted by Clemma and Hurst Swiggart and older sister, Patricia. Later the family added a third sibling, sister, Sue Carol.
Influenced greatly by his teacher father, Hurst grew into friendly fellow who collected friends easily. After graduating in the Central class of 1956, Hurst attended University of Tulsa and Benedictine Heights College as a speech major.
It was at this time that Hurst met his future wife and soul mate, Barbara Komma. After a long courtship, they married in 1962 at Christ the King Catholic Church, where Hurst was baptized and confirmed. The couple became four with the addition of daughters, Lisa Marie and Leslie Anne.
Always attracted to "show business", Hurst joined KTUL-TV as a cameraman. He quickly moved from Studio Supervisor to Director of the 6 & 10pm Newscasts, as well as commercial production. One of his stellar accomplishments was directing the national broadcast of the Dedication of the Port of Catoosa with President Nixon.
Within the 13 years he was there, he became Production Manager before joining Tulsa Cable Television (now Cox) as Operations Program Director. Hurst put his skills and friendly demeanor to good use planning and organizing all programming for 36 channels, all production and the production facilities.
Hurst finished up his TV career at Tempo Television as Marketing Director, as well as Adjunct Professor in Television Production at ORU.
Hurst earned his licensed real estate agent status and licensed real estate broker in the State of Oklahoma. At the time of his death he was an associate with Walter & Associates.
An offshoot of his real estate career came with the formation of Swiggart Services, a home restoration business, partnered with his wife, Barbara. The couple restored 27 houses in the Tulsa midtown area.
Known for his fairness and honesty, Hurst served the City of Tulsa for 24 years as a real estate officer.
Show business wooed Hurst again in 1982 when he took on the persona of Utica Square's Santa with the power to turn on the Christmas lights every Thanksgiving. Hurst delighted thousands of children (and their parents) over the 32 years he put on the red suit.
Hurst's civic experience covered many facets. He served on the Boards of Monte Cassino, Junior League, American Theatre Company and the International Club. He was an Honorary Board member of the Greenwood Jazz Celebration, a downtown festival his wife chaired for 15 years. He was a Linnaeus Gardner at time of his death.
There was no end to Hurst's love of family. Barbara, his mate of 57 years survives him as well as daughters, Lisa Gray (Kenton) and Leslie Krause (Karl).
He was preceded in death by his parents; two sisters and one nephew, Robert.
He is also survived by many, many nieces and nephews, in-laws and out-laws.
Hurst loved the Roman Catholic Church with fervor and kept a 24-hour relationship with God, who is now evidently enjoying Hurst's corny jokes.
Hurst was loved by everyone with whom he came in contact during his 82 years of outstanding living. He always "grabbed the brass ring".
Hurst has left the building!
In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to either the Linnaeus Garden, Catholic Charities or American Theatre Company.
Rosary is on Friday, November 22, at 7 PM at Fitzgerald's Southwood Colonial Chapel. Funeral services are being held at Christ The King Catholic Church in Tulsa at 15th and Rockford at 10 AM, Saturday, November 23.
Fitzgerald Southwood Colonial Chapel, 918-291-3500. www.fitzgeraldfuneralservice.com