Obituary of Carmen Swartz
Carmen Annette Merlino Swartz was a force of nature. Bucking bias with sheer grit, this tiny, pretty, woman broke into the male dominated engineering field and graduated from the University of Florida in 1960, leading the way for other women.
Carmen decided when she was in her sixties to remake her career and enrolled in Peninsula Law College. She graduated, passed the bar, and practiced law until March 2016; well into her eighties. She enjoyed being able to help people with family law issues.
Carmen enjoyed a lifelong friendship with her sister, Helen, and was handpicked to be the perfect mother for Melanie and Valerie. She was devoted to her two daughters, and was deeply loved and admired in return by us all. She taught her girls that you can do and be whatever you want through hard work and perseverance. She had many and varied skills from a lovely singing voice, gifted macramé artist, noted with acrylic paints, could reupholster and refinish anything, had a discerning eye for antiques and collectables, and had a real gift for burning food (blackened before it was trendy!).
She had a life long love for animals, and many small chickens, ducklings, puppies and kittens felt her kind and caring touch. Copper, like her family, misses her still.
Mom truly exhibited bravery and grace at every turn, a feat of strength we will never forget.
A loving gathering at her home will occur on Carmen's birthday, please contact the daughters for information. To quote Carmen: “If I had known I would be a diabetic, I would have eaten a lot more cake before then”. To honor that sentiment, we will be serving cake at her gathering, followed by more cake.
Donations may be made in Carmen’s name to the Friends of Los Altos Public Library, or to your local chapter of American Association of University Women.