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Nancy Jeanne Swisher
November 07, 2013

Nancy Jeanne Swisher, 92, died at her home in Iowa City in the evening of Nov. 4, 2013, of natural causes surrounded by family.

Nancy was born Aug. 23, 1921, in Dexter, to Dr. Hugh Franklin Ilgenfritz and Mary Ellen Crane. She graduated from the University of Iowa with degrees in Spanish and Protegees. Following graduation, she went to work in Washington, D.C., as a cryptographer for the FBI during World War II. After returning to Iowa City she became engaged and married her college beau, Scott H. Swisher, on Dec. 5, 1943. They made their home on Bowery Street, where they raised their two children, Sarah and Scott, and entertained friends.

Following the death of her husband in 1972, Nancy went back to school to obtain her teaching certificate. She continued to live in Iowa City and worked as a Spanish teacher at Mount Vernon High School, where she continued to teach until her retirement at the age of 73.

Nancy was a member of First Presbyterian Church in Iowa City. She was also a world traveler who taught English in Spain, Poland, Italy, Chile, Bolivia, Guatemala and Costa Rica. She was an avid follower of Democratic Party politics and the Hawkeyes. She was a great cook and the cornerstone of a family who will continue to hold her high.

Survivors include a daughter, Sarah C. Swisher (Gary Smith) of Iowa City; a son, Dr. Scott H. Swisher Jr. (Theresa) of Lincoln, Neb.; four grandchildren, Sarah "Sally" D. Lee (Chad) of Waverly, Scott H. Swisher III (Tia) of San Diego, Calif., Morgan E. Hartline (David) of Lincoln, Neb., and Riley J. Smith of Iowa City; and three great-grandchildren, Jozlyn, Gracie and Gabriella Lee of Waverly, IA. Nancy was preceded in death by her husband; parents; brother, Richard Illgenfritz; and three infant children, Robert Richard, Mary Geneva and Susan Blair Swisher.

Her service was Nov. 8 at First Presbyterian Church in Iowa City, with visitation prior to the service. Burial was at Oakland Cemetery, Iowa City.

Arrangements were by Gay & Ciha Funeral Service. Memorial contributions may be made in Nancy's name to First Presbyterian Church for the The Pasrur Project, a Christian girls school in Pasrur, Pakistan. Contribution can be sent to First Presbyterian Church, 2701 Rochester Avenue, Iowa City, IA 52240. Online condolences may be sent for her family through at

The family wishes to thank Dr. Thomas Nicknish, Dr. Rick Dobbins, Dr. Phillip Horwitz, Iowa City Hospice and all of Nancy's friends for their help and support.

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