In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the First Baptist Church Garage Project and left at the funeral home.
Jeana Marie Swopes, aka Little Miss Sunshine, was born at 7:43 a.m., November 5, 1971, at Cedar County Memorial Hospital in El Dorado Springs, Missouri, to Thomas DeWayne and Donna Ketterman Swopes. She spent her early childhood in the Walker area, where she was surrounded by open fields, dogs, and horses. She moved to Springfield, Missouri, with her parents and then to Bloomington, Indiana, as her father pursued his education. Her love of dancing was heightened as she enrolled in the Indiana University School of Ballet which was taught by former members of the Russian Ballet. She appeared in the IU performance of The Nutcracker as a page in the Snow King’s court. The next year she was selected to perform as the Rat King, but a case of pneumonia did not allow her to perform.
Jeana accepted Jesus Christ as her Savior during Vacation Bible School and was baptized at Sulphur Springs Baptist Church.
Jeana went to high school at Bloomington North and Bedford High, before graduating from Terre Haute North High School, where she participated in track and theater. She loved being a techie behind the scenes. She attended Mary of the Woods College in West Terre Haute, IN, where she graduated with B.S. in Education. She would clean the horse stables to be around the horses and would frequently ride them.
She met Jeff Walters in Terre Haute, and they were married until her illness no longer allowed her to care for herself. They lived in Las Vegas, NV, where she did odd jobs for a law firm, while her husband, Jeff, a pilot, flew tourists over the Grand Canyon in a small plane. They moved to Kissimmee, FL, where Jeff worked for a commercial airline and Jeana supervised trainees at Sea World and Happy Harbor. She worked at the Dolphin Poole, where her favorite job was selecting the child who would feed the dolphins during the show. She loved jogging on the beach and doing leather work.
Jeana was a resident of Community Springs in El Dorado Springs for fifteen years. Music by the Cars, David Bowie, Jethro Tull, and, especially, Elvis would direct other residents to the room with the giant Elvis poster on the door and the life-sized Elvis cutout on the wall. She was a voracious reader and played Mahjong on the computer and bingo and dominoes with the other residents. Her laughter was loud and infectious. Her smile lit up the room.
She slipped away on Saturday, October 17, 2020 with her mother at her side. The world is a little darker with her passing. Little Miss Sunshine had her last sunset at sunset on the last day of the week. Her week was complete. Her work was done.
Preceding Jeana in death were siblings, Holly Lorraine Swopes and Thomas Tyler Swopes; half-sister, Whitney Swopes; grandparents, Don and Elda Jean Ketterman; and William “Bill” Swopes and Mary Palmer Swopes.
She leaves behind her mother, Donna Ketterman Elliott, of El Dorado Springs; father, Thomas (Karen) Swopes, of Donnison, IL; sister, Bailey (Seth) Davis, of Anderson, MO; many aunts, uncles, and cousins; and a host of friends.