Lula “Lou” Swindell, 80 years of age of Challis, Idaho passed away on Tuesday, July 15, 2014 in Challis. Graveside Services will be held on Saturday, July 19, 2014 at 10:00 a.m. at the Challis Cemetery. Viewing will be from 9:00 a.m. to 9:45 a.m. at the Jones & Casey Funeral Home of Challis at 531 Highway 93. www.jonesandcaseyfh.com
Celebration and Memories of Lula May Swindell
Lula May Schlehuber Swindell known to most as “Lou” and to some as Maisie, was born in Pocatello, Idaho on August 19th, 1933. Lou was the third child born to Laurence A Schlehuber and Pearl A. Garrett Schlehuber. Lou spent her childhood and young adult life growing up in the family home on East Carter Street in Pocatello.
While working at the Orpheum Theater she met Richard “Dick” Swindell who became the love of her life. They were married on January 28th, 1952. As a young newlywed Lou continued high school and graduated on May 18th, 1952.
Dick was drafted into the Army in 1952 attending basic training in Fort Ord, California. Lou joined him until he was sent to Germany for the remainder of his tour of duty. Lou returned to Pocatello and lived with her parents until Dick returned home.
Upon Dicks return home they purchased a home on Warren Street where they lived while Lou babysat and Dick working for Nabisco. Dick and Lou started their family in 1953, with Richard Lee Swindell the II being born on April fool’s day in Pocatello, Idaho and Debra Marie Swindell Bruno born on January 13, 1955 also in Pocatello, Idaho. After a few years they moved to Blackfoot then onto Shelly, Idaho. In 1959 the family moved to Challis to purchase the Challis Messenger. After moving to Challis, they continued to grow the family; with Alicia Kay Swindell Thornock born October 29, 1962 in Challis, Idaho claiming she is the only true Challis native of the family; Denise Rae Swindell Dowton born October 9, 1964 in Salmon, Idaho; and Dennis Alan Swindell the baby of the family, born November 4, 1965 in Salmon, Idaho.
Lou worked as a Clerk, Typesetter and numerous other tasks “a Jack of all Trades” alongside Dick. They were the only two employees in their new adventure at the Challis Messenger.
In 1969 they sold the Challis Messenger and purchased the Challis Laundromat of which they operated for ten years. During this period of time Lou also worked for Amar Farms and Bill Cobbley harvesting potatoes. Lou then returned to the Challis Messenger to work for Allan and Peggy Parks. In 1971 Lou started working for the Challis School District as a custodian until she retired in 1995. Many students passed through the halls of CHS, Lou knew them all. It was a common occurrence that kids would stop to give her a hug or a little pat on the top of her head, teasing her about being short. Some would stop and share in a conversation, she was always friendly unless she caught or thought someone was making a mess or vandalizing “her” building; that is when you were the recipient of a scowl.
In 1996 Dick and Lou became Snow Birds traveling to Yuma Arizona for the winter months. It became their second home where they met and acquired many new friends. Lou would not leave until after Thanksgiving and Christmas, for this was one of her favorite times with many family gatherings.
For the past two years Lou has been fighting a long bought with Cancer, with enormous courage she attended three grandchildren’s weddings, traveled to Arizona, continued attending grandchildren, and great grandchildren functions, and was able to boss her daughters at last year’s Christmas gathering while they cooked dinner, making certain that it was done to her standards.
Lula May Schlehuber Swindell passed on to a peaceful place on July 15, 2014 with her family by her side at Safe Haven Assisted Living in Challis, Idaho.
She was preceded in death by an infant son, her Mother Pearl A. Garrett Schlehuber, Brother Eldon W. Schlehuber, Father Laurence A. Schlehuber, and granddaughter Ciara Rae Dowton.
She is survived by her husband of sixty-two years Richard L Swindell, children Rick (Gay) Swindell, Debra (Bruce) Bruno, Alicia (Dennis) Thornock, Denise (Jimmie) Dowton, Dennis (Susan) Swindell, twelve grandchildren, fifteen great grandchildren, Brother Robert L. Schlehuber, and Sister Betty Lou (George) Probart and numerous nieces and nephews. Memorials are suggested to: Safe Haven Assisted Living Facility or Custer County Cancer Fund at 955 River Front Drive Suite A, Salmon, Idaho 83467.