William F. ‘Frank’ Switzer

Frank Switzer, 85, of Crawfordsville died at 8:20 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 10, 2019, at Life’s Journey of Avon. Mr. Switzer was a long-time resident of Crawfordsville.

He was born in Alamo as the son of Raymond and Vina (Mullen) Switzer. Mr. Switzer graduated from Crawfordsville High School and Purdue University. Following graduation he served in the United States Army Corps of Engineer as 2nd Lieutenant and was promoted to 1st Lieutenant in the Reserves.

Mr. Switzer was a registered land surveyor and a registered civil engineer, working for the Indiana State Highway Commission for 38 years. He held positions as project engineer, traffic engineer, construction engineer, field engineer and district director. Upon retirement, Mr. Switzer was awarded the title of Sagamore of the Wabash by then Gov. Evan Bayh for his services to the State of Indiana.

Upon retirement from the state highway, Mr. Switzer worked part-time in a custom cabinetry shop in Lafayette and pursued his interest in woodworking by building projects for family and friends. In tribute to his farm upbringing, Mr. Switzer acquired and refurbished a 1947 Farmall M tractor which he enjoyed displaying at the annual Strawberry Festival and 4-H Fair. He was a member of the Montgomery County Pioneer Club.

Mr. Switzer attended and was a member of Woodlands Height Christian Church. He held membership in the Montgomery County Shrine Club, Montgomery County #50 Masonic Lodge, Scottish Rite Valley of Indianapolis, and The Murat Shrine in Indianapolis. Additionally, Mr. Switzer was a member of the American Legion. He had previously belonged to the Crawfordsville Country Club, Elks, Eagles, as well as the Moose Lodge. 

During recent years, Mr. Switzer enjoyed reading and having morning coffee and playing cards at the American Legion. 

Mr. Switzer married Maudanna Mills on Dec. 26, 1954. At the time of her death, they had been married for 58 years.

Mr. Switzer was preceded in death by his wife; his parents; his brother/best friend, Ed Switzer; his older sister, Elsie Jernagan; and his youngest sister, Mary Cox. 

He is survived by two daughters, Yvonne Ratcliffe (Larry) of Indianapolis and Paula Schroeder of Biltmore Lake, North Carolina; and three grandchildren, Dana Ratcliffe, David Ratcliffe and Holly Schroeder. Also surviving are his sister, Georgia (Bill) Redden as well as seven nieces, a nephew and their respective families.

Visitation will be 4-7 p.m. Friday at Burkhart Funeral Home, 201 W. Wabash Ave., with Masonic rites at 7 p.m. Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. Saturday, followed by burial with military rites at Oak Hill Cemetery South.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorial contributions be made to Midland Meals, Crawfordsville Senior Nutrition Site, 3313 Concord Road, Lafayette, IN 47909 or the Shriners Hospital for Crippled Children, Development Office, 2211 N. Oak Park Avenue, Chicago, IL 60707-3392.