Helen Swaithes Conrad
Helen Louise Swaithes Conrad brightened this world when she entered it on March 10, 1925. She left it peacefully on Apr. 26, 2018. She passed away in her home in Boca Raton, FL, at age 93, from complications of dementia.
Helen was the daughter of Clifton Sumter Swaithes and Margaret Cox Swaithes, born on their farm near Nettleton, a village in Northwest Missouri. She graduated from Hamilton High School in nearby Hamilton. Helen attended the University of Missouri at Columbia, where she studied home economics and child development.
On June 24, 1945, Helen Swaithes married Henry Webb Conrad, a senior in the College of Medicine at the University of Louisville. His medical practice took them to the Whitlatch Clinic and Hospital in Milan, IN, in 1948, then to Lawrenceburg, IN, in 1959, when the Ludlow Hill Clinic and Dearborn County Hospital were opened. They reared four children: Susan Perry (Richard) of Albuquerque, NM, Bruce Conrad (Margaret) of Zionsville, IN, Patty Rehnberg (Ed) of Jupiter, FL, and Wayne Conrad (Loree) of Dallas, TX. Their eight grandchildren are Eve Perry Norton, Rick Perry, Sara Conrad Conley, Susan Conrad Billups, Tom Rehnberg, Wayne Conrad, Jr., Rachel Conrad, and Nate Conrad. They have nine great-grandchildren.
Helen Conrad was an optimistic woman who dedicated her energy to improving the organizations and institutions within her scope. She worked with the United Methodist Church’s programs for children, served as President of the Indiana School Boards Association, and volunteered at the Dearborn County Mental Health Center. In 1983, Helen ran for Mayor of Lawrenceburg, IN. She considered herself a professional volunteer.
Helen had a beautiful soprano voice, and she enjoyed all kinds of music. She served as President of regional arts councils in Lawrenceburg, IN, and Hamilton, working to bring fine arts experiences to residents of small communities. She supported many arts organizations with her passion and devotion.
Helen’s community work was always secondary to her enthusiasm for creating beauty and elegance in her home. Believing in good nutrition as the path to health and wellness, she explored nutritional approaches to support her husband for 20 years after his severe stroke in 1990. She practiced yoga for over 45 years. She set an example of good health and refined hospitality for all who knew her.
Helen and Henry Conrad moved back to Hamilton in 1993. They divided their time between Hamilton and Boca Raton, FL, until their permanent move to Florida in 2008.
In addition to her children and grandchildren, Helen leaves behind her beloved younger sisters, Mary Margaret McCrary and Barbara Shortess, both of Kansas City. She also leaves a host of nephews, nieces, friends, and colleagues.
A celebration of life service will be held at the Hamilton United Methodist Church on Saturday, June 2, 2018, at 2:00 p.m. Helen and Henry Conrad will be interred in the Conrad family plot in Highland Cemetery in Hamilton. The family appreciates your kind thoughts and fond memories; no flowers, please. Memorial gifts may be made to the scholarship program at Highpoint Health Foundation (formerly Dearborn County Hospital Foundation), 600 Wilson Creek Rd., Lawrenceburg, IN 47025. The family may be contacted through Susan Conrad Perry, 427 Live Oak Lane NE, Albuquerque, NM 87122.