After living successfully with cancer for more than four years, life ended peacefully at her home on the Ridin'P Ranch for Heidy Switzer after happy visits with her husband, daughters Grace, Sonja and Audrey, son Martin, Mike's sons Mike Jr. and Bill and many of her well loved friends on Monday, Sept. 17, 2007.
Heidy is survived by her beloved husband Michael Switzer, her brother Jurg and his children in Switzerland, her sister Suzi and her children in Switzerland and the families Moser in Switzerland especially Marlys, whom she loved as a sister and had been friends with since childhood.
Heidy also leaves behind her children: Grace Frankforter and her son Joey, daughter Sonja O'Brein and her husband Sean and granddaughters Casandra Pelech and her daughters Brittanie and Cassadie, Jennifer Burns and her husband Tom and their son Tristan, Kymberli Goheen and fiance Nathan, Aimee Goheen, daughter Audrey Wolf and her husband Phil and her daughters Thomi Mannker, and twins Shaina and Zoe Weintruab and ger son Sgt. Martin Pelech and his wife Beverly, as well as the children of her husband Mike Jr., Bill and their families and many very dear friends.
She outlived her parents, her son Michael, and Mike's children Cindy and Jeff.
Heidy came to America some 50 years ago and lived in various locations on the eastern side of the continent before moving to the Libby area in the early 70s. Here she remembered her love of the mountains and discovered what was to become a life long passion for horses, particularly the Arabians she developed and bred specifically for endurance and distance riding.
She was an active member of the Hooves and Company Distance Riders and competed actively in distance rides across North America even placing 4th in the nation for the Arabian Horse Association Championship Competitive Trail Ride in Louisville, Ky. in the early 90s.
She, along with her husband Mike, was a long time supporter of the Human Therapy on Horseback, Inc. Donating time as a walker, and two of her best trail horses to the program, and following her near fatal horse back accident in June 2002, Heidy was also a client of the program, enabling her to enjoy her passion for riding and horses passed the time when it would otherwise have been possible.
She was also an active supporter and participant in charity walks which she enjoyed sharing with daughters Sonja and Audrey and some of her friends. She was relieved and proud that both of her sons had served in the armed forces, Michael in the Gulf War and Martin in Iraq.
She and Mike were married on Dec. 30, 1979 and enjoyed many happy times in their long life together. She and Mike were longtime members of Alcoholics Anonymous enjoying more than 29 years of quality sobriety together.
There will be a celebration of Heidy's life at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 7 at the Wilkinson Hall at 101 Collins Ave. in Libby. The family requests that instead of flowers, donations be made to Human Therapy on Horseback, Inc. 1541 Whitefish MT 59937. Arrangements are under the care of Nelson & Vial Funeral Home.