Diane Lettl Swidarski passed away peacefully on May 23, 2023, at home with her family in Valley View, OH. Diane was born on October 23, 1956, to Anton and Erna Lettl (deceased). She is survived by Bob Swidarski, her beloved husband of nearly 42 years and their two children Bobby (Bridgette) and Katie Swidarski. Diane was raised in Seven Hills and graduated from Normandy High School. She earned her BA in Education from Cleveland State University and was the first and only in her family to graduate from college. She later earned a Masters in Special Education from Baldwin Wallace. A devoted educator for 44 years, she gifted her compassion and sharp wit to thousands of students and colleagues across several schools, including St. Monica’s, Union Elementary and East High School.
In June 2022, Diane retired from Akron Public Schools. She returned to work part-time as an intervention specialist in the fall of 2022 after being recruited for a position at the Summit County Juvenile Detention Center. She married Bob Swidarski on July 18, 1981, despite unconventional dates like a motorcycle ride to Dairy Queen for a sip of hose water or attendance at a spontaneous wrestling match among Swidarski siblings. They built an exceptionally loving marriage, family and home together.
Diane’s heart always sought to love more children. She and Bob became foster parents while Bobby and Katie were elementary-aged and were later “adopted” as grandparents to their friends’ children. When her darling children moved out, Diane replaced them with her next biggest love - animals. Her legacy at Swidoodle Farm includes but is not limited to chickens, horses, and a pond full of surprisingly old goldfish. She also matched more than 70 Swidoodle puppies to their forever homes with extra special care. She cherished her friendships. She looked forward to monthly outings with teacher friends and regular game nights at home. Meeting and befriending new people she met through teaching, yoga or walks on the Towpath Trail was one of her strengths. Diane was well-known for her kindness, her sarcasm, and her sense of humor. Many of the family’s activities were motivated by Diane. She signed them up for the St. Martin of Tours Ski Club to eventually become Snow Pros taking regular trips to Peek ‘n Peak in New York. She created magical holiday traditions at their beautiful home, filled with happy memories. Of note, she got a lot of joy from manically hiding Easter baskets even when her children were adults. Her uterine cancer diagnosis was only a small part of her life from summer of 2021 to the end but was a major demonstration of Diane’s strength. The family extends their gratitude to Dr. Beffa, Danielle and the entire team at Cleveland Clinic for their outstanding care. Per her wishes, no formal services will be held for Diane. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made in her honor to organizations supporting children in foster care or students pursuing careers after high school.
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