Parkinson's Movement
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Longest Surviving DBS Patient Dies

Dick Lee Swindler had DBS surgery in 1995, 18 years of service.

Dick Lee Swindler, 68, of Olathe, died October 12, 2103. He was born on October 27, 1944, in Pratt, KS. He was the son of John Herbert and Margaret Alice (Talbott) Swindler. He is survived by his wife, Marjorie, son Sean Swindler and daughter Shana Morris, three grandchildren, Shelbi Morris, Shale Morris, and Isaac Swindler, sisters Patty Coons, Betty June Patton, twin brother Don Swindler, and brother Jim Swindler. He was pre-deceased by a grandson, Shade Aaron Morris, sister Ruth Poe and brother John Swindler.

Dick's grandchildren were the light of his life. He loved playing with them when they were young, while he was still able. No matter how difficult for him due to his Parkinson's, it was important to him to be able to play with them and be a part of their lives.

Dick got his BS from Southwestern College in Winfield, KS, then got his Master's Degree and completed most of a PhD at KU. He taught higher mathematics at Lawrence High School for 28 years before retiring due to early onset Parkinson's disease. He also coached gymnastics for many years, and was regularly named "Coach of the Year," and "Judge of the Year." For as long as his health permitted, he was an avid jogger who ran in regular 10-Ks and two marathons, one of them 4 years after his diagnosis of Parkinson's. He was also an avid golfer who played several times a week until he was no longer able.

Dick and his wife were avid home remodelers for many years. Later they enjoyed the hobby of model railroading. They had an impressive model railroad they spent many hours working on. Some of the buildings from their model railroad have been donated to the model railroad display at Union Station.

Dick's final years were spent at Good Samaritan in Olathe where he participated for as long as he could in the activities offered in his new environment.

Dick was the longest surviving recipient in the US of Deep Brain Stimulation for Parkinson's Disease. He has donated his brain to the Mayo clinic for Parkinson's research.

Memorial donations can be made to the Michael J. Fox Foundation,, or mail to Michael J. Fox Foundation, Grand Central Station. P.O. Box 4777, New York, NY 10163. A memorial service will be held at First Methodist Church in Lawrence, 946 Vermont at 11am, Monday, October 21st. To leave a message for the family, visit

5 Replies

God bless him


God Bless and protect him




God Bless him and his gift to Parkinson's Research.. My sympathies to his family and friends.


Sounds an amazing & lovely man.. May he rest in peace.

My respects & love to family and friends.


Our condolences go out to the family of a man I have only read about but was a remarkable and Deeply Loved man. It really gives me food for thought about the brain donation as I too plan to do the same in hopes others may be helped or prevented from PD. May GOD BLESS this man , family and friends.


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