Patricia Jean Lamont
March 15, 1927 – June 11, 2012
Patricia Jean Lamont, 85, passed away at her home in Appleton on June 11, 2012, of leukemia. Born in Neenah on March 15, 1927, Pat departed peacefully with family and friends at her side.
Pat spent most of her childhood years in Dearborn, Holland, and Iron Mountain, Mich. One of her favorite places to visit was Crandon, where she enjoyed staying with her grandparents, “Nannie” and Bert. Pat loved school and graduated in Kingsford, Mich., at age 17. In the fall of 1944, she enrolled at Milwaukee State Teachers College with an interest in early childhood education. During her senior year, she met her future husband, Richard “Dik” Schwanke, who was among the many returning World War II veterans and attending college on the G.I. Bill. They married Sept. 3, 1949, in Milwaukee, he a sophomore studying art, she following in her mother’s and grandmother’s footsteps as an educator.
Early in her career, Pat taught kindergarten in Wauwatosa and Wausau and preschool in Rothschild. She completed graduate studies at Wisconsin State College-Milwaukee, earning her master’s degree in 1952. Soon after, she was involved in beginning a Head Start program in Oshkosh. While raising three sons in Brookfield, Pat became PTA president and helped initiate kindergarten classes there. Ph.D. studies were at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1966 to 1968. Afterward, Pat was hired as a professor of education at Carroll College in Waukesha. During her 25-year career at Carroll, Pat became department chair and co-founded the graduate program for teacher education.
In retirement, Pat moved to Appleton and began volunteer work at the Outagamie Museum and Houdini Historical Center. With a strong interest in genealogy, she enjoyed teaching family history classes there and also at the Thompson Center. Among her countless research trips, she visited New England, Ireland, Scotland and Germany. Family, both living and deceased, mattered a great deal to Pat. Reading was her biggest passion in life. Other interests were visiting with friends, gardening, cats, bird watching and crossword puzzles. Pat became resident council president at Touchmark (where she lived and enjoyed her final five years) and was a 15-year member of the Fox Valley Unitarian-Universalist Fellowship.
Pat was predeceased by an infant brother, William Bernard Lamont, in 1925; her father, William Albert Lamont, in 1940; her mother, Bernice Elizabeth Millious, in 1957; paternal grandparents, Angus Charles Lamont in 1923, and Edith Violet Hagen in 1941; and her maternal grandparents, Albert Christ Millious in 1938, and Emma Augusta Karoline Kobin in 1955. Her former husband, Richard Herbert Schwanke, passed in 1994, after a successful career as an artist, craftsman, high school teacher and college/university professor.
Surviving are three sons, Kevin Schwanke in Appleton, Kip Schwanke in Brookfield and Kent Schwanke (with Heidi, nee Bischoff) in Ripon. Also surviving are four grandchildren, Brett Schwanke, Eric Schwanke, Evan Schwanke and Gerryanne Schwanke; two great-grandchildren, Grace and Anna; three step-grandchildren, Elliot (Melissa), Haley and Katelyn (Derek); three step-great-grandchildren, Ethan, Rylee and Payton; and several distant relatives.
Pat was very loved and will be dearly missed.
A public memorial service will be conducted by community minister Karon Sandberg at the Touchmark Chapel at 2601 Touchmark Drive in Appleton on Thursday, July 19. Visitation with family and friends is scheduled for 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., with a service at 7 p.m. There will be a private burial of ashes with family at Lakeside Cemetery in Crandon.