Viola H Swartz

November 23, 1925December 19, 2013

Viola Hope Hetzel Swartz was born November 23, 1925 in Fort Lewis, WA and died December 19, 2013 in Lacey, WA. She is predeceased by her parents, Harold A. and Martha (Mischke) Hansen, her first husband, Col. Foster G. Hetzel, Jr., her second husband, Peter L. Swartz and her brother, Ralph Hansen. She attended Seattle Public Schools and graduated from Lincoln High School. Upon graduation, she attended the University of Washington and earned BA degrees in both History and Library Science at the University of Illinois. She was a member of the American Library Association, Phi Beta Kappa and Phi Beta Mu. In 1951, she began a career with the American Red Cross as a staff aid after training in Fort Leavenworth, KS. She was a professional librarian in patient and medical libraries in Kansas, Germany and Korea.

Viola (Hope) met Foster Hetzel in Germany, and they were married there in 1954. They spent many years in Europe, Asia and the US. Viola (Hope) was an active military wife alongside her Red Cross duties and was variously Chairman of Volunteers of the Frankfurt, West Germany, Army Wives, member of the V Corps Wives’ Club and the American Women’s Club of Frankfurt, President of the Quartermaster Wives’ Club and a committee member of the Steuben Schurz Ladies’ Group. Her main goal with these groups was introducing newly arrived Army wives to an unfamiliar German culture and way of life at a time when American society had little interaction with other cultures. She wanted two cultures she loved to understand one another, despite a chronic American reluctance to learn the German language. In this, her library school German language training was invaluable.

Foster went off active duty and returned to the US as a reserve officer in 1970. They settled in Camp Hill, Pa where Viola (Hope) contributed her career as a librarian in the local public library. She and Foster later lived in Harrisburg and Mechanicsburg, Pa until Foster’s retirement in 1991 and death in 1993. In 1995, Viola moved back to Seattle and in 1996, settled in Panorama City in Lacey, WA. She met widower Peter Schwartz there in 1997 and they married in 1998. Viola continued her active volunteer life in Lacey. She ran the Panorama City residents’ library from 1996 until 2004, volunteered at the Providence St. Peter’s Hospital medical library and was recording secretary for the Timberland Lacey Library Board of Directors. Viola’s hobbies were gardening, reading, cooking and traveling, but especially het two Golden Retrievers. She loved travelling and visited Germany, Canada, California and Pennsylvania during her second marriage.

Viola was a wonderfully intelligent, caring woman with nursing skills often praised by recipients. She originally acquired these skills helping raise her younger brother as a young child, after her father died. Viola’s last years were marred by the scourge of Alzheimer’s disease and she was in turn the recipient of much good care and nursing. In chronological order, apologizing for any omissions, recognition is due to all of the fine care givers from Catholic Community Services who enabled her to live her final years in dignity in her own home, including Fay McEvers, Brenda Pruitt, Dee Rediske and Angel Arias. Her last year was difficult. Extraordinarily skilled and gentle nursing was provided by RN Ellen Sawislak of Providence Saint Pete’s Hospice.

Viola is survived by nieces Gail Rouse, Cathy Clayburgh and gran niece Shawna Rouse, all of Seattle, west coast step children Stan (Linda), Bills (Donna), Tom and Marion (Chris), with Barbara A. Ellsworth on the east coast, several step grandchildren, including Stephanie (Bill), as well as step great grandchildren. Charities Viola supported included the Panorama Benevolent Fund, the Panorama Employee Benevolent Fund, the Lacey, WA Timberland Library, the Alzheimer’s Association, Thurston County, WA Joint Animal Services, the Army Emergency Relief Fund and the Hershey Medical Center in Hershey, PA. A brief burial service for Viola will be held at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, VA when the Army can schedule it. Home is where the Army sends you.


Viola H Swartz

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Christel Ash

January 27, 2014

We met in Frankfurt 1965, when grandson Steven Michael was born. Sadely we lost contact. Viola was an amazing women.
Will miss you and Foster. Rest in Peace!
Barbara please get in touch miss me.