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Robert (Bear) Archie Switzer passed away peacefully at his home in West Terre Haute surrounded by his loved ones on May 2, 2018. Bear was born on March 25, 1954 to the late Betty and James Sr. Switzer.
Bear graduated from West Vigo high school in 1972 where he was an all-star football player. High school is where he was given the nickname of “Bear”. Bear was a proud veteran who served his country in the U.S. Navy from 1972 to 1978 and then the Army from 1978 until 1985. He was previously employed by Conrail in the Bridge and Building Dept. and then went into the trucking industry.
Bear's passion for sports continued after high school when he was a State Champion Fast Pitch softball player for Cactus Jacks. In his retirement he coached baseball and volunteered with the Boys and Girls Club of Terre Haute where he assisted coaching his grandson’s football team and they were undefeated in 2015. Bear was also a member of the Shriners, the Scottish Rite and was very active in the Eight Street Wesleyan church in West Terre Haute.
Bear’s Native American heritage was very important in his life. He was a Blackfoot Cherokee Sundancer named “Running Bear”. Bear’s love of nature and the outdoors was endless. His dogs Sunshine, Sam and Bear meant the world to him. He also was an avid fisherman and golfer.
Bear was preceded in death by his brothers James Jr. and David; sister Janet Blankenbeker; daughter Katie Nash; mother in law Loretta Johnson; nephews Keith Beaver and Ryan Switzer. Bear is survived by a sister Connie Sue Beaver (husband Bob deceased); son Christopher; daughter Emily; two grandsons Kaden and Kristian Nash who knew him as “Papaw Bear”; numerous nephews, nieces and cousins.
Bear loved his family and will always be remembered as a kind and caring person.
Funeral services will be held on Monday, May 7, 2018 at 1:00 at Fitzpatrick Funeral Home, 220 North 3rd St., West Terre Haute, IN, with Pastor David Ward officiating. Burial will follow in Grandview Cemetery. Visitation is scheduled for Monday from 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM at the funeral home.
Online condolences can be left at: www.fitzpatrickfunerals.com