Richard "Dick" M. Switzer, 83

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Richard Marlin "Dick" Switzer, 83, Concordia, entered into rest Wednesday, May 29, 2024 at Salina Regional Health Center in Salina, Kansas. He was born on July 30, 1940 to Harold and T. Martina (Fross) Switzer in Abilene, Kansas.
Dick attended Abilene schools, graduating from Abilene High School in 1958. He then attended Fort Hays State College to play football, before transferring to the College of Emporia to play football and baseball with his younger brother, graduating in 1964. Dick was a standout athlete, playing semi-pro baseball for Abilene as a pitcher and second baseman, multiple positions on both sides of the ball in college, and in multiple state tournaments as part of a men's fastpitch team. His last two years playing football for Emporia State he played in the National Championship. Dick was also an avid golfer, playing every chance he could all over Kansas, with his beloved wife, Cathie.
He married Catherine Blecha on December 28, 1970 at St. George Catholic Church in Munden, Kansas.
Dick was a business teacher and coach for many years, starting his career at Hunter, Kansas, where there was no track, only dirt surfaces and the hurdles were sticks for the athletes to hurdle over, and also coaching football. This track team was the State Indoor Track Champions. When Hunter closed, it consolidated with Sylvan Grove, where he taught and coached for a year before moving on to Natoma for a year. He then taught and coached at Bennington for seven years, after which he was at Concordia Schools for over a decade, and Mankato for one year.
Dick was a renowned coach, earning multiple accolades over the decades including 3x KBCA Coach of the Year, Salina Journal Girls 4A Coach of the Year (1985) and Coach of the Decade (1980s), Topeka Capital Journal & Kansas Coaches Association Girls Coach of the Year 1985, and Hurdle track coach of the year. He was also inducted into the Kansas Basketball Hall of Fame as a coach in 2000, the College of Emporia Hall of Fame as a coach and for his football career, and his undefeated 1985 State Championship Girls Basketball team was inducted into the Kansas Basketball Hall of Fame in 2008. Dick coached multiple State Championship Track teams, as well as over 50 individual State Track Championships.
He was preceded in death by his parents; brother, Jim; sister, Wanda Acebedo; nephew, Casey Palmer; great-nephew, Robert Mitchell Joseph Feight; sisters-in-law, Sister Therese Blecha and Donna Blecha; brother-in-law, Ronald Schmitz; and beloved dog Tyke.
Survivors include his wife, Cathie of Concordia; sisters, Carol Palmer of Abilene and Janice Rome of Salina; brothers-in-law, Richard Blecha of Salina and David (Retha) Blecha of Munden; sisters-in-law, Marjorie Schmitz of Topeka, Marie Chmidling of Topeka, and Lynn Switzer of Wichita; numerous nieces and nephews, and a host of family and friends.
A Memorial Mass will be held on Thursday, June 6, 2024, at 10:30 a.m. at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church in Concordia, Kansas, with Fr. Joseph Kieffer officiating and Fr. Barry Brinkman as co-celebrant.
Visitation will be Wednesday, June 5, from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 pm, at Chaput-Buoy Funeral Home in Concordia. Rosary/Vigil Services will be at 7 p.m. Wednesday evening at Our Lady of Perpetual Help, and the family will greet friends following the Rosary at the church.
In lieu of flowers, memorials are requested to the Concordia High School Athletic Department, and may be sent to Chaput-Buoy Funeral Home, P.O. Box 606, Concordia, Kansas, 66901.
For online condolences, please visit www.chaputbuoy.com.

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