Loy T. Swinehart, M.D.
July 29, 1916 - April 10, 2013
Loy T. Swinehart, M.D., 96, died April 10, 2013, in Billings, Montana from the infirmities of old age with all his marbles intact. Loy was born July 29, 1916 in Spokane, Washington to Rev. A.O. and Rosina Keck Swinehart. He was the 9th of 10 children, and the last surviving child. He attended grade and high school in Spokane, graduated from the University of Washington in 1940, and graduated from Northwestern University Medical School in 1944.
He was very proud of his service in the Navy in WWII and was a "plankholder" on the USS Lofberg DD759 as its medical officer from 1944-46. He attended several reunions of the "Tin Can Sailors" in recent years.
He was in medical practice in Boise as a pediatrician from 1947 to 1980 with short breaks to serve his Residency at the University of Colorado from 1948-50 and for active duty during the Korean War in 1950-51. He was a pediatrician long enough to begin seeing the grandchildren of his first patients. After retiring from private practice in 1980 he served as Associate Medical Director of the Idaho Elks Rehabilitation Hospital 1981-83. Then as a semi-retired doctor, he worked part time at the Boise VA Center from 1984-2001. He only worked part time so he could ski the rest of the time, an activity which he took up at age 50. He received a trophy for the most improved student his second year of taking lessons at Bogus Basin. He was a member of the Primetimers Ski Club for many years.
One of the great joys of his life was building a cabin on his lot at Pilgrim Cove on Payette Lake with his family and friends and spending as much time there as he could until just a couple of years ago. He celebrated his 90th birthday there with 28 family members in 2006.
In the 1950's he served as chairman of the Boise Better Schools Committee that resulted, finally, in a bond election being passed to build a second high school (what was he thinking?; all of his kids went to Boise High).
He served for many years on the board of the Mountain View Council of the Boy Scouts. He was an active member of his Lutheran Church and was a board member first at Immanuel Lutheran and then at Redeemer Lutheran Church. He was a member of the Boise Rotary Club for many years.
In 1952 he helped found a Doctor's Journal Club which met until recently. He was instrumental in the formation of the Ada County Medical Society and the Idaho Pediatric Society. He was a member and served on various committees of the Ada County Medical Society, Idaho Medical Association, American Medical Association, and the American Academy of Pediatrics. He was a past president of Ada County Medical Society, the Idaho Pediatric Society, and the North Pacific Pediatric Society.
He was a charter member of the Crane Creek Country Club and enjoyed golfing, fishing, and raising and training his Labrador retrievers for pheasant and duck hunting. He was proud of one dog that could retrieve pheasants without even needing to shoot them first.
He received many medical honors over the years, including Distinguished Service Award, St Luke's Hospital in 1988, and Doctor of the Year, Ada County Medical Society in 1989 and again in 2007.
On September 1, 1941 he married Mae Hussey, a U of W classmate who graduated with a Nursing Degree. They first met while both were working on the Psychiatric Ward at Harborview Hospital. Mae always joked that "she was the one with keys to the place". They had a wonderful marriage lasting 51 years, until Mae died of complications of multiple sclerosis on February 6, 1993. He was later married to Katherine Marjorie Camp from 1994 to 2006. Together they enjoyed traveling and each other's company.
Loy and Mae are survived by five children, nine grandchildren, and eleven great grandchildren: Kathy Swinehart of Vashon, WA; Ralph Swinehart (Janet Pulsifer), of Enterprise, OR; Bob Swinehart (Kathie) of Billings, MT and their 4 children and 2 grandchildren; Stephen Swinehart of Toledo, OR and his 5 children and 9 grandchildren; and Sarah Gabby (Steve) of New York City, and numerous nieces and nephews.
Loy lived in Boise until he moved to the Westpark Retirement Center in Billings, Montana in April 2010, where he could be closer to his son Bob and his family.
Memorials may be made to Mae Swinehart Memorial Nursing Scholarship #HS084, BSU Foundation, 2225 University Drive, Boise ID 83706.
A memorial service will be held at Redeemer Lutheran Church, 2920 Cassia St. in Boise on April 20 at 10 am. Inurnment will follow at the Finnish Cemetery near Lakefork, Idaho.
Published in Idaho Statesman on Apr. 14, 2013