SWITZER, Richard Wallace, MD
passed away on December 22, 2020 attended to by his loving wife, Patricia. He finally succumbed to the dreaded malady, Multiple Myeloma that he had been fighting for six years, with boundless support both moral and technical from his fabulous nurse/wife Patti. Born in Ames, Iowa on January 10, 1932, Dick was raised on an Iowa farm and graduated from Shipley High School surrounded by, as he said, "the largest cornfield on Earth." He never lost the love of growing things and while living on delta land near the Tanque Verde Wash raised vegetables- winter and summer-for 20 years. Dick took his BA and MD degrees from the University of Iowa and trained in urological surgery at Indiana University after serving as a battalion surgeon for two years with the Second Marine Division. He moved to Tucson in 1965 and practiced urology for 34 years. Dick was an innovator who founded the first doctor's union in Arizona, The Professional Guild of Arizona and also started a Preferred Provider Organization, CAPP Care of Arizona and ran it for 15 years until his retirement. He brought the modern treatment of urinary tract stone disease, mobile shock wave lithotripsy, to St. Joseph's Hospital. He started the Retired Physician's Forum and moderated it for 14 years. Volunteering his services, he created the Urology Service at St. Elizabeth of Hungary Clinic and arranged for 22 of his urological private practice colleagues to accept referrals from the clinic. He was a Sheriff's Auxiliary Volunteer who worked at fingerprinting and Kids ID. He was a Mason, a member of the Scottish Rite and was active at the Sabbar Shrine Temple for many years. Dick loved the Lord, his wonderful wife Patti, his family and many friends. He skied, ran a marathon, played golf and loved to travel. Patti and he went around the world, to all seven continents, on many cruises, and on numerous foreign and domestic vacations. Dick was a lifelong learner who became knowledgeable in climate science and gave lectures on the subject to service groups around Tucson. He is survived by his wife, Patricia; children, Sherry (Christopher) Potter and Julie Lewis; grandchildren, Jackson and Patrick Diebolt and Morgan and Whitney Lewis and great-grandson, Jace Diebolt as well as his many friends and colleagues.
Services and burial will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday, January 6, 2021 at Our Lady of The Desert Cemetery, 2151 South Avenida Los Reyes, Tucson. In lieu of flowers, donations in Richard's name may be made to the charity of your choosing. Arrangements by BRING'S BROADWAY CHAPEL.
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Published by Arizona Daily Star on Jan. 3, 2021.