Terry Dove-Swall

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.

33 Comments

  1. jan and greg freitag on June 19, 2013 at 10:19 am

    Dear Ron – You are in our thoughts. We hadn’t met Terry and were glad to read about her life, her loving spirit and the gifts she brought to those she knew. The magic of your abilities,Ron, are all around us thanks to the gardens and lovely landscaping you have built at our home. It follows that your life’s partner would be alike in this natural ability to enhance the world around her with her beauty. Love, Jan and Greg

  2. Dan Neuenswander on June 19, 2013 at 5:24 am

    Ron, I am so sorry to read about the passing of your wife. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

  3. Donna on June 18, 2013 at 9:32 pm

    I was fortunate enough to have participated in Paint or Die classes with Terry for several years. She had a wonderful smile and warm presence, that made a difference for us all.
    I hope you, her family and friends, can be comforted by knowing of all the lives she touched.

  4. Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg on June 18, 2013 at 9:05 pm

    Terry was full of light and energy, and she was also a hell of a writer. I loved having her in writing groups and listening to what she created, which was always vital, innovative, surprising and loving. Sending love to all who love her and mourn this loss.

  5. Nancee Beilgard on June 18, 2013 at 3:35 pm

    Ron & family-I was so sorry to hear of your loss. This is a wonderful tribute. The Free State family will keep you in our thoughts,
    Peace,
    Nancee

  6. Sherry Hughes on June 18, 2013 at 3:31 pm

    Thinking of you all and praying for peace in your hearts. Terry was so full of light and she spread love where ever she went. I know my life is better because she has been a part of it. Ron and Laurie, thank you so much for giving us the opportunity to hug each other one last time in Austin. I will always be grateful for that beautiful memory with her. Jon, Micah, Caleb, and Michelle I hope you will carry her love in your hearts forever; she had enough love for you to last that long. Love to you all from me as well ~Sherry

  7. Sandy Beverly on June 18, 2013 at 2:33 pm

    A lovely tribute. Thinking of you, Ron.

  8. Karen and Gary Henry on June 18, 2013 at 12:45 pm

    Ron – we are thinking of you. Wish we could have known Terry, she sounds wonderful.

  9. Molly Coplen on June 18, 2013 at 9:19 am

    Such a beautiful person in so many ways. I was so fortunate to have known you as you always brought sunshine. You will so be missed by the Swall family.

  10. Debbie Venner on June 18, 2013 at 7:42 am

    Terry is and has been an absolute gift to me and my life. Her fervor was infectious. I love you Laurie, Micah, and Jon! I am grateful for you all. Terry was such a dear friend.
    Peace to you all.

  11. Kim and Michael Murphree on June 18, 2013 at 7:17 am

    Ron,

    Although we did not know Terry, please allow us to tell you that we are thinking of you and love you and are grateful for you. We know what it means to lose someone you love, and hope that our prayers will strengthen you. There is one truth that I can say I know as surely as I breathe, and that is simply that those we love are not lost to us, ever. Michael and I hope for peace and comfort to surround you, and may you come to know this truth as well, so that this time will not be so hard. All of our best to you and your family.

  12. Shelly Thornton on June 18, 2013 at 6:44 am

    Ron and family- so sorry to hear of Terry’s passing. We will keep your family in our thoughts and prayers for peace and comfort.
    Take care,
    Shelly

  13. Diane McMillen on June 17, 2013 at 6:48 pm

    Ron and family,
    We’re sending you lots of love! Terry could light up a whole room with that smile, we’re going to miss that, but we will always feel her with us! This tribute does capture that magic that was her life.
    Our best to you all! xoxo Diane & McO

  14. Jane Rock on June 17, 2013 at 2:40 pm

    Dear Ron and Family,
    What a lovely summary of Terry’s life. I was so touched by the way both of you have lived your lives. It certainly is a inspiring testimony of the human spirit. My thoughts and prayers are with you.
    Peace,
    Jane

  15. Kerri Hess on June 17, 2013 at 11:32 am

    Dear Ron and family,

    So sorry to hear of Terry’s passing. You are in my thoughts and prayers. Take care.

  16. Diannia Affalter on June 17, 2013 at 7:39 am

    Ron,
    What a beautiful tribute. Time will heal, I promise.

  17. Cris Hunt on June 17, 2013 at 7:05 am

    Ron,
    The thing that always struck me when I saw Terry was her absolutely beautiful smile. She will be missed but always remembered. Love you!
    Cris

  18. Mickie on June 15, 2013 at 11:30 am

    Terry was a major support to me and my husband through his cancer and a support to me through all the tuff times this past year, even in the mist of her dealing with cancer herself. What an amazing person.

  19. Audrey Wrinkles on June 14, 2013 at 9:27 pm

    I remember the first time I met Terry. I thought, “Wow! Who is this beautiful woman! What a light she carries.”
    Terry, the world is a better place because you chose to be in it. Now, fly beautiful one. Peace is come.
    Love to your family in this time.

  20. Joanie Honea on June 13, 2013 at 8:58 pm

    Terry was the best mom-in-law a girl could ever have had. She helped to shape my life in so many ways as I know she did so many others. She has made our family so strong by teaching us to love and care for one another. She lived such a colorful life and I am so happy to have witnessed it.
    I miss her more than words can say. I love you Terry.

  21. Betty and Chuck on June 13, 2013 at 8:55 pm

    This is a beautiful tribute!

  22. Nell Brackin on June 13, 2013 at 8:44 pm

    Jon and family,
    Your mom sounds like a great gal, who enjoyed life to the fullest. She would want you to remember and cherish all the good times you’ve had together. And know she is no longer in pain and suffering. Celebrate her new life in heaven where there is nothing but love and happiness. She will be keeping her door open for all of you when it’s your time to join her.
    May God Bless you All.
    I love you,
    Grandma

  23. Misty on June 13, 2013 at 6:35 pm

    My thoughts and prayers are with all of you during this difficult time. Terry was such a sweet, caring person who was fun to be around. I cant help but to ponder on one of my wildest memories of one of the last times I saw Terry in El Paso and I got a lil crazy and dressed up as “Aunt Ethel” and had her, her sister, brother, dad, my mom, her aunt and uncle in stitches for most of the evening. I remember when I was younger and her and her sister would come out and we all would get together at the desert and “Party” by the bomb fire.
    Im sure her family has many many fond memories of her as she was a fun person to be around.

  24. Tammy (Veater) Pankey on June 13, 2013 at 5:54 pm

    Terry has such a beautiful soul. I know she will be missed so much by so many. My heart is broken too. Please know that my thoughts and prayers are with all of you. Love always, Tammy

  25. Chris Drinkhouse on June 13, 2013 at 5:28 pm

    Ron and family,
    What a woman! May memories help heal the wounds of loss.
    Chris

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