Rick Swalwell Obituary, Death – Rick Swalwell, a much-loved family man and friend, lost his battle with cancer on September 15, 2022. He was surrounded by the love of his wife and daughters, as well as the support of his extended family and friends from all over the world. Rick’s birthday is November 20th, and he was born in Des Moines, Iowa. His childhood was filled with happy memories, including trips to his grandparents’ farm near Maxwell and games of baseball with his close friends. He was the oldest of four younger siblings. In order to achieve the rank of Eagle Scout, he went on camping trips to the Boundary Waters and the Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico.
These experiences solidified his love for the outdoors. As an avid participant in outdoor activities and an athlete, he took pleasure in yearly wilderness adventures such as hiking through deserts and canyons, canoeing, and kayaking. He considered himself to be one of the lucky few who had rafted the entire length of the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon. He was a veteran of the RAGBRAI bicycle tour and rode his bike to work for a number of years. He also rode his bike with his nephews to the summit of the highest paved road in the United States.
He was quite proud of the fact that he had finished a number of marathons, triathlons, 5 and 10 kilometer races, as well as the 10 kilometer Kortelopet and 30 kilometer Berkebeiner cross-country ski races. In 1982, Captain Rick began his sailing career by honing his skills on Rathbun Lake, restoring a teak boat, ice sailing during the winter months, crewing for races on Lake Michigan and Table Bay in Cape Town, and taking several bareboat charters ranging from Lake Dillon to the Caribbean. Rick, a fearless explorer, visited 30 countries and set foot on every continent other than Antarctica.
He was the only person to accomplish this feat. He was adamant in his conviction that everyone, and particularly young people, should make the most of any opportunity they have to travel and experience the world. Not only can it be an experience that opens our eyes and expands our souls, but it also has the potential to make us appreciate where we call home all the more. Rick was a diligent worker who had a varied career that included delivering newspapers, bagging groceries, packing meat, and cleaning kennels at a poodle salon.
Among his other accomplishments, Rick was a member of the Order of the Arrow. In the end, he was successful in landing a job in local news, which allowed him to capitalize on his inherent charisma, legendary anchorman hair, and talent for story telling. It is possible that he is the only person who has worked at each of the four local television stations. The majority of his career in television was spent at KCCI-TV, where he was a journalist who won national awards and was one of the few Americans to report from the USSR. During his time there, he was also one of the few Americans to do so.
Rick walked away from his successful career in television to pursue a new one in marketing and communications after completing his master’s degree. While he was working as an apprentice to his father, a carpenter, on projects such as the construction of their family house in Clive in the early 1960s, he gained the skills necessary to enjoy landscaping and building decks, fences, and advanced treehouses during his retirement years. Rick was the life of any party, whether it was his and his wife’s highly anticipated Christmas gathering, Papa Rico jam sessions, or family dinners with his grandchildren.
He was always the center of attention. He improved his skills on the guitar and Celtic drums as a result of hosting more than 20 house concerts with touring musicians. This experience also inspired him to form the Salty Dogs, a sea chanty duo. After finally securing a paying gig as a musician, he was overjoyed to cross an item off his bucket list. In addition to all of these varied pursuits, Rick placed a high value on service and was very involved in his local community. For the past sixteen years, he has served as an elected member of the WDM Parks and Recreation Advisory Board, where he has contributed to the development of significant projects such as bike trails, the boathouse at Raccoon River Park, and the Jamie Hurd Amphitheater.
Nevertheless, Rick’s family was, without a shadow of a doubt, his undeniable first priority at all times. His blissful marriage to his college sweetheart Theresa lasted for 30 years until she passed away, and he then went on to have a loving marriage to Karen for nearly 15 years. Theresa and Rick cherished their daughters, and Karen and Rick took great pleasure in being grandparents to their children’s children and grandchildren. Rick showed unselfish care and concern for his elderly relatives and established treasured family traditions, such as holding an annual reunion for Theresa’s nieces and nephews.
Rick was correct in his assumption that he would be able to find peace in the knowledge that the world is a better place because of the legacy that his family had left behind. Rick had a zero-tolerance policy when it came to bull****, big egos, and people touching his feet. He had a soft spot for infants, a good game of cribbage or kubb, cringeworthy jokes about fatherhood, and ridiculous outfits. He was almost impossibly handsome despite the fact that he didn’t care about how he looked.
He was fearless, generous, loving, and curious, but if we’re being completely honest, he was also a little bit stubborn. It goes without saying that Rick utilized every single one of his nearly 70 years on this planet to its fullest potential and that he will be greatly missed. Those who are left behind are better off and more profoundly altered as a result of having known him. Cheryll Swalwell-Hughes, his mother; his wife, Karen; his daughters Katy (Heath Henderson) and Abbey (Eric Henderson); his grandchildren Beau, Thea, Jacob, and Anabel; his siblings Ron (Ann), Randy (David Waggoner), Linda (Jose Garcia), and Kim; and his grandchildren Beau, Thea, Jacob, and Anabel. He is survived by all of these people (Terri Davisson). Both his father, Everett, and his first wife, Theresa, passed away before him. He was the last of their children.