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Swartzman, Howard Lynn

Howard Lynn Swartzman, just 20 days shy of his 92nd birthday, of Overland Park, Kansas, passed away peacefully on Thursday, Sept. 7, 2017, at his home.

He was born on Sept. 27, 1925, in Kansas City, Missouri, to David and Besse Swartzman. He moved with his family to Topeka and graduated from Topeka High School in 1943, winning state honors as both a top tennis player and debater. He went on to Harvard College, joining the Army for two years during World War II, before returning to graduate magna cum laude with an AB in government in 1949. At Harvard, he played varsity tennis and debate, winning the Coolidge Prize as the best debater in the Ivy League.

In June 1950, he married Leatrice Endlich, also from Topeka, to whom he was wed for 32 years. They moved to New Haven, where he attended Yale Law School and served on the Yale Law Review. After graduating magna cum laude with a JD from Yale in 1952, he moved to Kansas City, where he lived the rest of his life. He started his legal career at Stinson Mag, before beginning his own practices, first at Smith, Schwegler, Swartzman, and Winger and later at Grier and Swartzman.  

He was a loving husband to Sharon Swartzman, his wife of 32 years, and a patient and devoted father to three children, Susan (Tom) Freeman, Steven (Evelina) Swartzman, and Julie (Ian) Krop and Sharon’s three daughters, Shelli Helm, Robin (Mark) Sommerer, and Terri Helm, and 13 grandchildren, Danny, Andy, and Jonathan Freeman, Harrison and Zandy Swartzman, Ethan and Sophie Krop, Zachary and Shaina Krumme, Paige and Sara Sommerer, and Jonathan and Gregory Jacobs.

He remained until nearly the end of his life a fiercely competitive athlete and bridge player. He was an avid tennis player and golfer, regularly shooting his age in his 70s and 80s. His great passions included watching and discussing sports, particularly the Royals, following the stock market, and eating (steak, barbecue, hamburgers, lamb chops and lobster). He and Sharon traveled widely, played duplicate bridge (he attained the level of bronze life master), went to movies, and enjoyed theater and concerts together weekly.

He was a man of exceptional intellect, wit, charm and athleticism, but even more so of warmth, generosity and love. He achieved a great deal in his long life but left even more to those who knew and cherished him. No one was a more patient and empathic listener and provider of sound counsel.

A special thanks to all the friends, family and caregivers who gave him so much comfort in his final weeks.

Funeral services for Howard were held at Louis Memorial Chapel, Sept. 10, 2017; burial followed at Rose Hill Cemetery.

Memorial donations may be made in Howard’s name to the charity of your choice.

Online condolences may be left for the family at www.louismemorialchapel.com.

Arrangements by The Louis Memorial Chapel, 816-361-5211.