Dick Swantz, former superintendent and co-founder of LPEF, dies at age 84

Richard Swantz, the longest serving superintendent of schools in La Crosse history and a co-founder of the La Crosse Public Education Foundation, died Oct. 15, 2019 at the age of 84.

Services will be held Oct. 28-29. Read the full obituary here.

Swantz retired as superintendent in 1998 after serving 21 years. His tenure was a time of remarkable change in the School District of La Crosse, and included building a new Logan High School, which opened in 1979.

At LPEF’s 2011 Grants Award Ceremony, Dr. Charles Miller III with Judy and Dick Swantz. Dr. Miller died a few months later.

He worked with Board of Education members, most notably Dr. Charles Miller III, to create LPEF in 1988.

“Dick Swantz was the epitome of a public servant,” said LPEF Executive Director David Stoeffler. “He dedicated his life to improving the quality of life in our community by improving the quality of education for children. He was an innovator and an unabashed advocate for teachers and others working every day in our schools. He was invested in helping others and his role in helping create the La Crosse Public Education Foundation in 1988 is just one of many examples of his lasting legacy for our community.”

Following his retirement from the public schools, Swantz went on to play an active role in the community, including being elected to the La Crosse Common Council. He served eight years, the last four as council president.

In 2017, Swantz was elected as an Honorary Director for the Board of the La Crosse Public Education Foundation.

Upon his retirement, Swantz and his wife, Judy, helped establish the Swantz Endowment Fund at the La Crosse Community Foundation. The couple supported the fund with regular donations. One of Swantz’s last major projects was to lead an effort earlier this year to increase the endowment fund. Almost $18,000 was added, bringing the total value of the fund to more than $44,000.

Distributions from the endowment provide annual support for grants to support training for teachers in the District.

As requested by the family, memorial gifts donated in honor of Dick Swantz will go to the Swantz Endowment Fund, unless otherwise specified by the donor. Memorial gifts may be made on our secure website, or by mailing a check to: LPEF, PO Box 1811, La Crosse, WI 54602.