Cover photo for Derald Swisher's Obituary
1931 Derald Swisher 2023

Derald Swisher

July 31, 1931 — June 18, 2023

Des Moines


Derald James Swisher, 93, passed away peacefully at Valley View Village in Des Moines, Iowa on June 18, 2023.  Derald’s military service will be honored prior to his burial at 2:00pm on Wednesday, July 5, 2023, at Iowa Veteran’s Cemetery in Adel, Iowa. 

Derald was born on July 31, 1929, in Boone County, Iowa to Donald and Ruby Lincoln of Woodward, Iowa.  He graduated from Madrid High School in 1947.  After graduation, Derald was drafted by the New York Giants as a pitcher. During his first year of professional baseball, he was drafted into the Korean War. He served two years at Camp Atterbury and Heilbronn Germany in the infantry.  Following his service to our country, Derald attended Iowa Teachers College, graduating with a BA in Education.  He later attended the University of South Dakota Vermillion with a master’s in education.

Derald taught American History, Intro to Computers, Physical Education, Drivers Education, and was also a high school principal. Derald’s passion was the IOWA GIRL.  He spent his entire career promoting female sports at the high school level all over the State of Iowa.  He took countless young ladies to State Tournaments in track and field, golf, softball, and basketball.  His greatest love was girls’ basketball.  Derald took multiple teams to the Iowa High School State Tournament. They were the 1960 Grand Community of Boxholm, 1963 and 1964 Twin Rivers of Bode, and the 1975 Knoxville teams. He was also inducted into the Knoxville Iowa, Sports Hall of Fame.

Upon retiring from an illustrious career in education and coaching, Derald and Emily enjoyed their winters in Arizona. He spent as much time on the beautiful Arizona golf courses as he could.  They enjoyed the many friends and fun times at their resort. 

Derald is survived by the love of his life, Emily, to whom he stayed happily married for 72 years; daughter, Patricia (Roger) Rench of Altoona; seven amazing grandchildren, Jeremiah (Lindsay) Pratt of Pleasant Hill, Kari, Saje, and Kyah Hellstern of Altoona, Josiah and Daniel Hellstern of Ankeny, and Courtney (Joseph) Cupples of Newton, and four beautiful great-grandchildren with one more on the way.

Derald was preceded in death by his parents; daughter, Susan (Gary) Hudson of Knoxville; brother, Bernard Swisher; and a sister, Lila Hall. 


To send flowers to the family in memory of Derald Swisher, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Wednesday, July 5, 2023

2:00 - 2:15pm (Central time)

Military honors to be conducted by the United States Army.

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