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Terry Dove-Swall died Sunday, June 9, 2013. For the past 18 years, Terry called Lawrence home, even though she was a west Texas girl at heart. She wrestled with cancer these last 9 years, and as was her choice, she died at home in her bed.
Terry was born in El Paso, Texas in 1954 to Frank and Bonnie (Bell) Dove. She was the oldest of 4 siblings: Bud (Dallas), Kenny (El Paso) and Laurie (Austin). She grew up in El Paso and had many stories to tell about wind-whipped sand stinging her legs on the way to school, family picnics in the desert and real Mexican food. Terry married David Honea in 1974. She had two sons from her marriage to David: Micah and Jon, both of whom live on Lake Perry in Jefferson County, KS.
Terry and family migrated to Denton, Texas in the late 70’s. After divorcing David, she and the boys lived in Denton for nearly 20 years. It was while she was in Denton that Terry completed a degree in nursing. She worked as the school nurse at a Texas youth correctional facility, as the school nurse at a private boarding school and later as a nurse with a Denton area hospice organization.
In 1990, through a group of her friends (The Texas Smart Women’s Club), she met Ron Swall at a South by Southwest concert series. She engaged in a long-distance courtship with Ron, which included several trips in an old VW van, between Denton and Lawrence, Ks. She insisted that one trip should be made on only back roads without the use of travel maps – a typical 8 hour drive turned into a 2 day trip.
Terry moved to Lawrence and married Ron in 1995. She left behind great friends and family in Texas. She liked to say that they warned her about moving that far north, and so far away from Texas. She moved anyway. She arrived in Lawrence with all her possessions in the back of an old U-haul truck, and with good friend, Cindy, along for the ride to make sure the move went smooth. Consistently, Terry’s only real complaint about moving this far north was that summers in Kansas were far more humid than they ever were in Texas. Of course, no real Kansan ever believed her. Terry continued her work as a nurse in Lawrence, working on several different Units at Lawrence Memorial Hospital. She later worked for Lawrence Family Medicine and Obstetrics, and at Kaw Valley Natural Pet Care.
Terry’s sons followed her to Kansas over the next couple of years, moved back to Texas, and then to her joy, ultimately returned to Kansas to live. With her oldest son came her first grandchild (Caleb) who was always her great delight.
One of Terry’s first requests after marrying Ron was a new house. She had no idea what the result of that request would be, and soon embarked on a multi-year whole-house remod project. Terry and Ron lived in the middle of that project almost the entire time. She referred to it as the ultimate test of a relationship – if she and Ron could stick together through that – they could probably manage anything!
After Terry was diagnosed with a recurrence of breast cancer in 2004, she and Ron made a choice to purposefully build fun and memories into their lives. To start, Terry bought her first ever new car, and soon after, they bought an old pontoon boat from her brother, Bud. For the next several summers, every spare evening and weekend were spent at the lake, putt-putting around to swim and fish. She enjoyed every outing so much more when her sons, their wives and grandchildren were able to join the outing – which gave her no end of satisfaction.
During the time after her diagnosis, Terry also became involved in a focused spiritual exploration. She attended numerous silent retreats and spiritual gatherings to enhance and deepen her beliefs and practices. Through these activities, she met folks with whom she developed lasting relationships. Her connections with these ‘new’ friends as well as her ‘old’ friends from Texas provided her with both comfort and joy, even, and especially, into the last weeks of her life.
Terry is survived by her mother, Bonnie Bostick, brothers Bud (wife Kathy) Dove and Kenny (wife Alla) Dove, and sister Laurie (husband Greg) Dykes, all of Texas; her sons: Micah (Joanie Meier-Honea) and Jon (Rachel Maxwell-Honea); grandchildren: Caleb and Isabelle Honea, and Aydin and Ace Honea all of Ozawkie, Ks; niece Michelle Phillips of Lawrence Ks; and Terry’s husband: Ron Swall, of Lawrence, Ks.
Terry’s celebration of life is planned for June 22, 2013 from 2:00 to 4:00 at the Lawrence Unitarian Fellowship (1263 N 1100 Rd), Lawrence, Ks. Rather than flowers, Terry would want you to ‘pay it forward’ to your favorite charitable organization, or an individual needing a hand up.