Carleen H. Swartz Bach

Sept. 7, 1920 – Aug. 4, 2019

TOPEKA — Carleen H. Swartz Bach was lovingly supported by family and friends until she passed away Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019, at Topeka. She was 98.

She was born Sept. 7, 1920, at Dwight, on the family farm. She was a child of the Great Depression, Prohibition and Dust Bowl era. She was the daughter of John Harrison “Harry” and Birdie Lynn Crute Swartz. She graduated from Dwight Rural High School in 1938 and attended nursing school in Salina.

She married Michael Metzger in 1940. From this union two daughters were born.

She was active in World War II at Boeing in Wichita, working on the first B-52 that shipped from that plant. In 1946, she boarded a ship with her daughters, ages five and six and traveled to Germany to join their father who was serving in the Army.
Throughout the 50’s she was a single mother who raised her children with the loving support of her family. During this time, she lived in Dwight and had two jobs, working at Fort Riley, and at the local grocery store on the weekend.
Her high school classmate, Lee Bach, returning from a 20-year naval career, chanced into her grocery store in Dwight and they were reacquainted. They married in 1961, sharing 51 years of happiness together before his passing in 2012.
Her government career took them to Topeka, St. Joseph, Mo., Omaha, Neb., and Las Cruces, N.M. She worked primarily for the Social Security Administration.

She was a member of the council that instituted the Medicare program and while on this task force met President Johnson and President Truman. After retirement from the government, She continued a decade long career in estate sales management and participated in a variety of volunteer and community activities in Las Cruces and El Paso, Texas, where she and Lee resided until 2008. They returned to Kansas, living in Overbrook, where many dear friendships were made. She loved people and helping those in need. Above all, she enjoyed visiting with her family and friends. She was known for her energy, sense of humor and generosity.

She most recently lived at McCrite’s Retirement Community, Topeka. One of her activities at McCrite’s was to deliver the daily Topeka Capital-Journal to two floors in the building. She made many close friends there and enjoyed the events they shared, especially volunteer activities such as the Harvester’s project. She loved cooking, reading, growing things, shopping for garage sale bargains and watching sports, especially Kansas State Wildcats and Green Bay Packers. She welcomed adventure, riding in a hot air balloon in her 70’s, visiting Boston in her 80’s, and traveling to New Mexico and Michigan in her 90’s to visit family.

She was a lifetime member of the Dwight Methodist Church, was a member of Overbrook Library and National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association.

She was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Lee; and nine siblings, Katherine, Martin, John, twin brother, Carl, infant brother Robert Lee, Pauline “Peg”, Harriette, Billie Joyce and Nora; a grandson, Thad Fuller; and a son-in-law, Allan Coon.

She is survived by two daughters, Eula Lee Metzger Fuller and Connie Marie Metzger Horne; six grandchildren, Deborah Coon, Christine Lipscomb and husband Steve, Stephen Fuller, Sean Fuller and wife Amanda, Angela Horne and Laura Horne Popp; four great-grandchildren, Christopher Wesley, Joshua Fontius, Jacob Fontius and Kendall Grace Fuller; three great-great-grandchildren, James, Kaylee Ann, and Sophi Black; and many beloved nieces and nephews.

The family is grateful for the loving care provided by the excellent staff at Midland Care – Hospice House, Topeka.

Visitation will be 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 9, at Kevin Brennan Family Funeral Home, 2801 S.W. Urish Road, Topeka, KS 66614.

Memorial service will be 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 10, at Dwight United Methodist Church, 501 Seventh St., Dwight KS 66849, with visitation one-hour prior. Inurnment will follow at Dwight Cemetery.

Memorial contributions may be made to Dwight Methodist Church or Midland Care Hospice House and sent in care of the funeral home.

Condolences may be expressed at

The Osage County Herald-Chronicle

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