It is with profound sadness that we announce the passing of Marge, our loving mother, devoted grandmother, cherished sister, and adored friend. Margaret Clara (Haizmann) Switzer of Dublin, NH died peacefully at home on January 3, 2023.
Marge was born on February 20, 1945 to Fritz and Helen Haizmann in Chicago, IL . She graduated from Arlington Heights High School in 1962 and received her nursing degree from Wesley Memorial in 1965. She met Paul Edward Switzer, a medical student at Northwestern University, and they were married on December 3, 1966.
She and Paul lived in Chicago, California, Maryland, Connecticut, Hawaii and Rochester, NY before finally settling in the Monadnock Region of New Hampshire, which she loved so much.
She was brilliant, creative, determined and compassionate. Early in her career she was an accomplished surgical nurse at Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago. Later, she ran her husband’s medical practice, served as Medicare Coordinator at Monadnock Community Hospital, sheltered and tutored victims of domestic violence, and served as Board Chair of The Place-To-Go, an afterschool program she grew and cherished. A committed environmentalist, she co-founded Eco-Options, a retail business offering environmentally-friendly products decades before they were mainstream. She helped create the Robert and Patricia Switzer Foundation and she developed the framework of the Switzer Network, which has grown into a community of over 700 innovative problem solvers and visionary environmental leaders.
She was unfussy and frugal, and her favorite trips often included animals but lacked electricity or running water. Her adventurous spirit led her to the remote and rarely visited San Blas Islands; a solo trip to Tanzania, Rwanda, and Burundi where she visited Jane Goodall’s Gombe and the Virunga mountain gorillas; pack trips in the Wyoming backcountry; and backpacking all over Greece without an itinerary.
If you stopped by her house, she would most likely be found riding her tractor, creating beautiful dresses and complicated costumes for her grandkids on her sewing machine, sending off impassioned letters to lawmakers, or weeding in her wildflower garden with a dog and a cup of coffee nearby. She had a sparkle in her eye, a well of resourcefulness, a warmth that made people feel seen, empathy for the underdog, and was a source of comfort to all who knew her.
She loved 1000-piece puzzles, spoiling her dogs, The Beatles, being right, The Big Bang Theory sitcom, her friends on the Black Flyers tennis team, documentaries, kayaking, National Geographic, dancing, Anderson Cooper, and her solitude in the shadow of Mount Monadnock.
Most of all, she loved and was loved by her family deeply and unconditionally. Her children and their spouses Peter and Pam Switzer of Marlborough, NH, Shawna and John Saaty of Arlington, VA, and Thuy and Phuong Nguyen of Houston, TX cannot imagine a world without her. She took extreme pride in her grandchildren Wyatt, Josie, and Abbie Switzer and Emma and Nina Saaty, who lovingly called her “Gibby.” She was an active and hands-on grandma, hand-making birthday cards, delighting in beating them at board games, jumping in the freezing lake with them when their parents wanted to sunbathe, and showering them with love. She will be missed dearly by her sister Laurie Ippoliti of Inverness, IL; her former husband Paul Switzer of New Bern, NC; her many nieces, nephews, and cousins; and a warm circle of incredible friends.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that those who are able consider donating to The Dolphin Research Center (https://dolphins.org), The Jane Goodall Institute (https://janegoodall.org), or the Monadnock Center for Violence Prevention (https://mcvprevention.org).
Her family is planning a celebration of her life this coming summer. Dates and details will be announced at a later date.