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Pat Swartz

Graveside services for Pat Swartz, who passed away Tuesday, March 22, 2022, at the age of 79, will be 2 p.m. Friday, April 8, at Lincoln Cemetery in Lebo.

He was born Feb. 22, 1943, in Newton, the youngest child of M.H. and Allene (Cochrane) Swartz. 

On May 27, 1962, Pat married his high school sweetheart, Dorla Spatz, at the Methodist church in Emporia. She preceded him in death on June 16, 2001.

He is survived by his daughter, Nancy Hildreth, and her husband, Mark; adored grandchildren Zach, A.J., and Elizabeth Hildreth; beloved companion Susan Roberts and her daughter, Jenny Roberts; sister Mary Lou Gray; and brother Mike Swartz. 

He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Dorla Spatz Swartz; a sister, Sue Ball; and a brother, Bill Swartz.

Pat graduated from Emporia High School and Kansas State Teachers College (now Emporia State University). He was a lifelong educator, shaping young people’s lives as both a teacher and a principal during his career. 

He proudly served his country in Vietnam with the 90th Attack Squadron, U.S. Air Force, and was enlisted from March 1966 until December 1969. 

During the course of Pat and Dorla’s marriage, they lived in many different locations, but the biggest move was abroad to Australia.

Never one to pass up an adventure, Pat moved his family to the small town of Richmond, New South Wales, in 1974, and they stayed until 1976.

This was made possible by a program with Emporia State University to provide teachers to New South Wales during a teacher shortage.

Lifelong friendships were made, and living “down under” was a high point in Pat’s life. 

During retirement Pat enjoyed spending time with friends at Homer’s Coffee House, walking miles of trails at the Overland Park Arboretum and Botanical Gardens with Susan, and fishing with friends on his pontoon at Clinton Lake. 

Pat passed down his love of golf and fishing to his grandsons, Zach and A.J. Many golf clubs, golf shoes, fishing poles, and tackle boxes exchanged hands over the years.

While Grandpa Pat’s love of outdoor landscaping was not passed down intact, his grandsons nonetheless answered his requests to work in the yard, building many rock and flowerbed projects. 

Pat’s granddaughter, Liz, held a special place in his heart. During the last months of his life, she would visit him and put her skills learned in physical therapy classes to use, stretching her grandpa’s limbs and providing a brief respite from the painful symptoms of ALS. 

The family wishes to thank Ascend Hospice and Senior Care Homes for their compassionate care.

Last modified March 30, 2022

 

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