Obituary: Deswarte, Richard M.D.
Of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho died July 9, 2012. Born on February 3, 1932 in Chicago, Illinois, he was the son of Kenneth and Pauline DeSwarte. He left the Chicago area to attend the University of Michigan and earned a B.S. in Zoology in 1953. He re-mained in Ann Arbor and received his Medical Degree in 1957.
From 1959 to 1961, he served as a Captain in the U.S. Army Medical Corps before returning to Ann Arbor where he completed his internal medicine residency followed by an allergy fellowship. Forever a Wolverine, he remained loyal to the maize and blue of University of Michigan.
Richard joined the Rockford (Illinois) Clinic in 1965 as its first full-time allergist. He practiced at the Rockford Clinic for 25 years, serving on its Board of Directors from 1969 to 1974 and, in addition to his clinical practice, served as its Medical Director from 1976 to 1988. From 1965 to 1989, Richard was also a Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine at Northwestern University Medical School.
Richard and his wife Phyllis left Rockford for Coeur d’Alene, Idaho in 1990 where he joined the Allergy and Asthma Clinic until he retired in September of 2001. In 1990, the Northwestern University Medical School Department of Internal Medicine awarded him the Distinguished Service Award to recognize his 25 years of volunteer service. In 1993, the American Academy of Allergy and Immunology gave him the Volunteer Clinical Faculty Award for his 30 years of training the Allergy-Immunology Fellows at Northwestern University Medical School.
Following his retirement from clinical practice in 2001, Richard honed his photographic skills featuring his golden retrievers and grandchildren as subjects. The Golden Retriever Club of America selected several of his photographs for their calendars. In the Coeur d’Alene area, Richard and Phyllis enjoyed their work together as pet-assisted therapy volunteers. With their golden retrievers, they entertained and comforted patients at hospitals, nursing homes and retirement communities.
One of his greatest joys in the last few years was welcoming his grandchildren to this world. Although they are still young, they will cherish the memories of playing with their Grandpa and all those golden retrievers.
Richard is survived by Phyllis, his wife of 57 years; sons Jeffrey, Bonsall, CA and Bradley (Mary), Longmont, CO; daughter Diane Davis (Jeff), Seattle, WA; and sister Shirley de Swarte, Mountain View, CA. He is also survived by his two granddaughters Molly and Brigid DeSwarte and grandson Harrison Davis. Memorials may be made to the University of Michigan Medical School, Hospice of Northern Idaho, or the charity of your choice.