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Betty Iris Swartout

July 14, 1932 – July 4, 2017


SwartoutBetty Iris (Roy) Swartout passed away peacefully with her family at her side on the morning of July 4, 2017. Betty’s health had declined over the past year and she was under the compassionate care of Dr. Mark Dela Cruz and ProMedica Hospice at ProMedica Monroe Skilled Nursing Center.

Betty was born in her home on July 14th, 1932 in Gibson Station, Virginia to parents James and Marie (Surber) Roy. Betty grew up in Harrogate, Tennessee, the oldest of eight children, on a tobacco farm deep in the hills. As the principal of the local high school, her father instilled in her a passion for lifelong learning. She graduated from high school at 15 years old, and from Lincoln Memorial University at 18 with a Bachelors degree in education. Betty taught one year of high school in Alabama, then moved to her permanent home of Monroe, Michigan where she married Gene Swartout in 1954. Betty joined the Monroe Public School System, teaching the children of Monroe for over 42 years. She began her teaching career at Boyd school and then joined Manor Elementary school when it opened, teaching grades 3-6. Betty also obtained her Masters of Education degree from Eastern Michigan University while raising her children, David and Cathy.

Most everywhere Betty went, she encountered thankful former pupils. By teaching multiple generations, Betty was able to instill in her students the power of knowledge she learned from her father, while encouraging them to follow their dreams.

Betty retired from teaching in 1995 and filled her days with extensive travels, including trips to Alaska, Hawaii, and England. Betty also enjoyed caring for, but especially teaching her grandchildren and then great grandchildren. She loved to laugh and sing, watch Detroit baseball games, tell stories of her “tumbling” (gymnastics) days, and mostly being with her family. She was also a former member of the Kiwanis Club of Monroe.

Her parents, brother Mack, and two sisters, Bonnie and Mary, preceded Betty in death. Betty is survived by her brothers George (Gail) Roy of Tennessee and Jim (Beverly) Roy of Tennessee, and sisters Bonnie Bibb of Tennessee and Cathy (Willis) Cosby of Ohio. Also surviving are her son David (Ann) Swartout and daughter Cathy (Charles) Osgood of Monroe. Her grandchildren are Adriann (Michael Cochran, Jr.) Welsford, James (Megan) Swartout, Cayla, Carley, and Charles Osgood, III of Monroe and great-grandchildren are Evan and Owen Welsford and Gavin and Emma Swartout of Monroe.

Family and friends may visit from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. Monday at Rupp Funeral Home. Rev. Larry Lyons will preside at a 1 p.m. graveside committal service on Tuesday at Roselawn Memorial Park, LaSalle.

Memorial contributions may be made to ProMedica Hospice.

Online condolences to the family can be sent through


12 Responses to Betty Iris Swartout

  • Matthew Hall says:

    Mrs. Swartout gave me memories too beautiful to forget. She was a dear friend and knowing her brightened my life. I will pray for and with you during this difficult time. I care.

    Love & prayers,

    Matt Hall

    • Cathy Osgood says:

      Thank you Matt! She loved you and all of her dance family….. laughing til we cried and knowing she was always there for us. Thank you for your kindness to her. It mattered. Cathy and family….

  • Ken Larabell says:

    My thoughts and prayers for Betty’s family.
    Ken Larabell, PMRH

    • Cathy Osgood says:

      Thank you Ken for your kind words and care. She appreciated her care givers at the hospital and we know you all treated her like family. Thanks- Betty’s family

  • Cindy Goda Cabanski says:

    Mrs. Swartout was my 4th grade teacher at Manor Elementary. I remember what a kind and “strict” but always positive influence she was with us as students. I don’t remember many of my former teachers, but you never forget the “Great Ones! I will keep all of you in my thoughts and prayers.

    God’s Peace
    Cindy “Goda” Cabanski

    • Cathy Osgood says:

      Thank you for your kind words and memories. These are the reasons mom taught. Thank you, Betty’s family

  • Kathleen Pearch says:

    Dear Dave, Ann and family, My sincere sympathies to you and yours with the recent loss of your mother. Thoughts and prayers are coming your way. I am sorry I will not be able to attend the visitation as I am having surgery in the morning. Just wanted to let you know I am thinking about you.

    • Cathy Osgood says:

      Thanks you Kathy for your kind thoughts and prayers… please take good care today and we are thinking of you as well. Betty’s family

  • Sandy Sutton says:

    Dear Cathy, David and families

    I’m so sorry to hear of Aunt Berry’s passing. I wish I lived closer and could have been there. You are in my thoughts and prayers. I miss coming to Monroe and seeing you all. I always loved coming to see you and staying with Grandma. The picture you chose for the obituary is just the way I will always remember your Mom. You are in my heart and my thoughts and prayers.

    Much Love,

    • Cathy Osgood says:

      Thank you so much Sandy! We have wonderful memories of our time together growing up dont we! We miss you too and appreciate the thoughtful message….. love you- David, Ann, Cathy, Chuck and family

  • Kellie Gross says:

    I met Betty in the parking lot of St Johns waiting for school to get out. I never had her as a teacher but she taught me a lot through our 5 years of parking lot conversation, unless Charlie had a lot to say that day. She was always giving of her time to help my daughter with homework and cooking lessons on those many occasions of play dates and sleepovers. Many good memories of a beautiful woman. My sympathy and prayers for all of you.

  • Cindy Good Sanders says:

    So sorry for your loss. Mrs. Swartout was one of my favorite teachers at Manor. She was a firm teacher, yet we still had fun and respected her. What also stands out in my memory, is that with all the siblings that passed through her class, she never made comparisons. Some people are born to teach, and she was one of them.

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