Joyce Marie Smith Backes Swackhamer

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A memorial service for Joyce Marie Smith Backes Swackhamer, 87, of Carson City, will be held at 10 a.m. Monday at St. Teresa of Avila Catholic Church. A rosary will be said at 9:30 a.m. and a reception will follow the service.

Mrs. Swackhamer died March 17, 2005, at Carson Convalescent Center.

She was born Sept. 28, 1917, in Salem, Ohio, to Cessna and Mabel Miller Smith.

She was the eldest of six children. She studied nursing and was a private nurse for William Comeau, a poet. In 1940, she moved to Battle Mountain to work as a nurse.

She moved to Inglewood, Calif., where she met Sylvester Backes and they married Sept. 28, 1940. After the war, they returned to his farm in Bushnell, Neb. They divorced and she returned to Battle Mountain where she married William Swackhamer on Sept. 6, 1949.

She loved to read, travel, sew, work crossword puzzles and write poetry and help her husband in his political career.

She was an active member of St. Teresa of Avila Catholic Community and St. Ann's Guild. She was a member of Washoe Zephyr Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution and Thomas Holcomb Chapter Colonial Dames and she volunteered at Carson-Tahoe Hospital.

She was preceded in death by brothers Cessna Eugene Smith, Robert Smith and Ronald Dean Smith.

Among her survivors are her husband of Carson City; daughter and son-in-law Rebecca and John Tucker of Carson City; son and daughter-in-law Llyod and Cindy Backes of Bushnell, Neb.; sisters Betty Dawson of Paradise, Calif., and Charleen Dawson of Weaverville, Calif.; four grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

Donations may be made to the St. Mary's Hospice Foundation and St. Teresa of Avila Church Building Fund.

FitzHenry's Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.


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