Leah Ann Swanson of Deary left us unexpectedly on Saturday, Oct. 3, 2020, at Gritman Medical Center in Moscow. Leah was a loving wife, mother, daughter, sister, aunt, cousin and so much more to the multitude of people whose lives she touched.

Leah was the first born to Lee and Barb Heimgartner on April 1, 1971. She graduated in 1989 from Kendrick High School, where she excelled in volleyball, basketball and track. She still holds the high jump record. During high school, she enjoyed driving trucks on the family farm and helping her grandmother, Ardythe, in the garden.

Leah attended the University of Idaho while working part-time, earning a bachelor’s degree in physical education with a minor in biology. Following graduation Leah was hired on as the P.E. and health teacher at Deary High School where she worked for 25 years. She mentioned frequently how she had the best job in the world because she “got paid to play everyday with her kids.” During her time at Deary H.S., she coached both high school and junior high volleyball, as well as ran the IDFY Chapter. She absolutely loved each one of her students and treated them as if they were her own.

Leah married Owen Swanson in June of 1996, and was blessed with three beautiful children, Brooke, Bailee and Bodee Swanson. What she enjoyed most was spending time with family, doing anything outdoors and experiencing anything new. Family vacations, camping trips and lake days with her family were the ultimate favorite times.

Leah leaves behind the loves of her life, her husband of 24 years, Owen; children Brooke, Bailee and Bodee; parents Lee and Barb Heimgartner of Juliaetta; sister Lynn (Justin) Cook of Latah; brother Chad (Danielle) Heimgartner of Juliaetta; in-laws Lee and Nancy Swanson; brother-in-law Fred (Dannie) Swanson; grandmother Doris Bonin; several aunts, uncles, cousins and many nieces and nephews that she spoiled rotten every chance she got.

She was preceded in death by her grandparents, Roy and Ardythe Heimgartner; Norman Bonin; and nephew, Joe Cook.

In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate donations to go towards the Leah Swanson Open Arms Memorial fund at the Deary School. The purpose of this fund is to help support students who wouldn’t be fortunate enough to afford activities such as club volleyball, summer camps and IDFY events. The family wants Leah’s love for her students and school activities to continue for as long as possible.

Leah’s service will be held at 11 a.m. Oct. 17, at the Deary High School gym.

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