Marilee Swirczek

Nov. 23, 1947 ~ July 17, 2016

“I was thinking about her and her life today — she truly used her art to teach, to comfort, to witness. There’s a hole in the soul of the universe…” Marilee Swirczek

These are words that our beloved wife, mother, daughter, grandmother, teacher and friend wrote upon the death of Maya Angelou. These words resonate in our hearts today as we mourn the loss of our beautiful Marilee.

Marilee Swirczek was born November 23, 1947 in Sharon, Pennsylvania to Alice and Peter Rocco. She grew up in Pennsylvania, received her Master of Education degree and began teaching.

She served on the Carson City Board of Supervisors from 1987-1990. She became a professor at Western Nevada College in 1990.

Her accomplishments include: Lone Mountain Writers (creative writing group) and Always Lost: A Meditation on War (national touring art and humanities exhibit on the loss of war). She received the Daughters of American Revolution Medal of Honor in 2010 for her extraordinary patriotism.

She had a passion for her students and shared her generosity with many, while making each one feel special. She not only brought out the best in people, she also empowered each person to discover their sense of purpose in life. She had a tremendous sense of humor and was clever and witty with language and though very gifted with writing her true passion was in teaching. And although she loved her career in education, her children always came first.

She was preceded in death by her father Peter Rocco in 1963 and sister Sandi Richman in 2015.

Marilee is survived by her husband of 26 years Ron Swirczek; parents Alice and Tom Tyson; sister Toni Spaulding (David); stepsister Laura Tyson (Rebecca); stepbrother Tom Tyson Jr.; children Jennifer Hope Locke (Joel), Stephanie Faith Swart (Jorden), and John Peter Chirila (Danielle); stepchildren Betty DeRicco (John) and David Swirczek (Jodi); grandchildren Megan, Missy, Sam, Alexa, Mikaela, Emma, Trevor, Tyson, and Sadie Valee.

A public service will be held 9 a.m. Saturday, July 23, 2016 at St. Teresa of Avila in Carson City.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to an organization that was close to Marilee’s heart: The Veterans Resource Center at WNC (

Please go to to sign the guest book.


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