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1927 - 2017 Obituary Condolences
Harlow Swartout Jr. Obituary
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August 17, 2018

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Preview Entry
August 17, 2018

Please don't submit copyrighted work; original poems, songs or prayers welcomed. Legacy.com reviews all Guest Book entries to ensure appropriate content. Our staff does not correct grammar or spelling.

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December 1, 2017
What an amazing teacher. His animated enthusiasm for everything he taught was contagious. How fortunate we were to have Mr. Swartout in our lives. My sincere condolences to his family.

Crystal Schroeder
WCHS Class of 1966
November 27, 2017
Bud was a great coach and teacher. I will always remember him fondly.
Bill Welch class of 1966
November 26, 2017
Dear Swartout Family,
A couple of years ago I wrote this letter to your father. He was simply the best teacher ever.

Dear Mr. Swartout,

Surely your ears were burning last Saturday evening when Bob Menzimer was telling stories at the 50th class reunion of the WCHS class of 1964. ( If you know Rasc, you KNOW how he can tell stories! ) He mentioned that he and classmates ran into you at lunch and were able to chat with you for awhile. A collective moan went up from those of us who'd chosen to eat on the Woodstock Square and missed seeing you. Clearly, we made the wrong choice! So.let me take a few minutes to let you know what being in your classes meant to me.

When I decided to become a teacher I hoped that I could one day be just half the teacher you were. Until high school I'd always enjoyed science, but in your class I just loved the way science was taught. You were always so patient and soft-spoken and really encouraged us to observe, think, and learn to ask great questions. What a difference that makes for a learner!

After graduating from the University of Illinois I went on to teach kindergarten for 2 years, first grade for 5 years, second grade for 17 years, and third grade for another 13 years. As I moved from grade to grade I realized that curiosity was one of the most important traits of the most successful students. That starts at home, of course, but has to be fostered by teachers. So many times I thought back to how you supported that in us. When I retired from West Des Moines Schools in 2006 my principal commented that he'd noticed I'd always had something growing in my classroom: flowers, sweet potatoes, beans, bamboo, ant farms, you name it. Well, there were the occasional hamsters, gerbils and rabbits, but those were not my favorites! In elementary school we didn't dissect frogs and fetal pigs, but we did watch our share of caterpillars become butterflies, waded through streams to catch tadpoles, and planted a class garden.
I was not the science teacher, but we had science all around, not just the prescribed grade level curriculum. The children enjoyed the wonder of nature- again, a lesson from you. I recall a kindergarten student in my very first class laughing at the word pupa. It's such a fun word to say, Miss Senne! Where did you learn that funny word? I told him I'd probably learned it from MY teacher, Mr. Swartout. Later in the day, he asked where I'd learned metamorphosis. Again, I told him it must have been Mr. Swartout. Wow, he laughed, That guy must know ALL the fun words!

Yes, I'm sure that's probably true!

After I retired I began volunteering at a children's hospital and learned that children who are ill can handle an amazing amount of information if things are explained on their level and honestly. Again, you modeled that for all of us.

So, thank you ,THANK YOU for all the fine examples you provided for us. I really appreciate it!

Your very lucky student,
Linda Senne Johnson
November 25, 2017
Mr Swartout was one of my favorite teachers at Woodstock High School. He taught Biology.