Richard and LaVonne were married for 47 years. He is survived by his wife and two daughters: Shelley (Eric) and Dana (Scott), four grandchildren and one great-grandchild; siblings: Jane Gingerich, Gladys Mast, twin Robert (Doris), Dorothy Krebs, Dale (Vicky) and Carol Campion.
Richard passed away Dec. 11, 2017, due to complications from open-heart surgery. He was 76.
In a statement, the Washoe County (Nevada) Sheriff’s Office says it “could rely on volunteer Richard Swartzendruber to deliver equipment necessary to support our Search and Rescue teams. From floods and fire to avalanches, water rescues, injured hikers and stranded drivers, he would overcome conditions that were often extreme to haul boats, command centers or other equipment needed to help the mission succeed.
“The men and women of the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office, along with our many valuable volunteers and retirees, wish to extend a truly heartfelt “thank you” to Richard and his family for the 28 years of extraordinary volunteer service he so enthusiastically gave to our community.
“During those 28 years, Richard dedicated countless hours, using his own vehicles, to bring needed resources to ongoing missions. Richard was also a member of the Sheriff’s Office Air Squadron and would fly his own helicopter to support search and rescue missions prior to the launching of the Sheriff’s RAVEN program in 1996.”
“Richard’s contribution to the safety of Washoe County residents and visitors is remarkable,” Washoe County Sheriff Chuck Allen says. “His life is a reflection of the commitment, expertise and spirit of service that all of our volunteers bring to the community. He was a distinguished member of an exceptional team.”