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Dorothy "Dotty" Lee (Hanny) Swatek
November 22, 1940 ~ January 13, 2023 (age 82) 82 Years Old
19 Trees, Flowers, or Condolences have been shared with support of Dorothy "Dotty"'s family - View on Tribute Wall
Dorothy (Dotty) Swatek (nee Hanny), age 82, of Lake Geneva, WI passed away to eternal life on Friday, January 13, 2023, at her home surrounded by her family following a courageous battle with lymphoma.
Dotty was born in Elkhorn, WI on November 22, 1940, to the late James and Doris (Keenan) Hanny. She was raised in Lake Geneva with her younger sister Carol and brother Jim by her parents and uncle Elijah “Lefty” Hanny. She overcame her shyness by growing up in the restaurant business and waiting tables at Hanny’s Restaurant. She loved summers in Lake Geneva waterskiing, dancing at the Riviera, and driving her Triumph Spitfire with the top down.
Dotty received an associate degree from Stephens College in Columbia, MO and a bachelor of science degree in education from the University of Wisconsin. Dotty also completed masters level coursework at Marquette University and began a 17-year career as a speech and language pathologist.
On September 10, 1966, Dotty married Charles Johnson and they soon after relocated to Nashville, TN, where Charles became a member of the Grand Old Opry. After the couple divorced in 1982, Dotty came home to Lake Geneva with her 2 children, Jennifer and Jim, to start a new life.
When she arrived in Lake Geneva, Dotty worked as a make-up artist for the Estee Lauder cosmetic line at McCullough’s drug store. She then became a color consultant through Over the Rainbow, Ltd., and was soon recognized as their top consultant. After her certification, Dotty started the Color Studio as a color consulting and cosmetic business in an upstairs one-room office space in downtown Lake Geneva. She later owned and operated the Color Studio Boutique (with her partner, Nancy Hayes) for many years dressing women and offering color consultations and makeovers. Dotty always believed that when women looked their best, they felt their best; she became an accomplished public speaker delivering that message to convention groups, bridal parties, and on WGN Radio’s Wally Phillips Show. She organized and directed fashion shows at local restaurants and resorts and enjoyed producing the annual Lioness Fashion Shows at Geneva National.
As a business owner and lover of Lake Geneva, Dotty was involved in various civic organizations. She was a Lioness, a Rotarian, an Alderman, a member of VIP Services Board of Directors, and Board of Directors for the Lake Geneva Chamber of Commerce.
In 2003, Dotty married the love of her life, Lyle Swatek. They enjoyed 14 years of marriage on their “Farm” in Burlington, WI. The two shared ownership of the Red Geranium Restaurant in Lake Geneva. They loved entertaining friends and family, but also were their own best company.
The one constant throughout Dotty’s life was her love of Lake Geneva in summer: Boat rides, dancing, and driving her convertible with the top down.
Mrs. Swatek is survived by her daughter, Jennifer (Bryan Whatley) Johnson, grandson Evan Smithson, and Bryan’s children Allison and Nicholas; son James (Lisa Rose) Johnson; sister Carol (Nick) Ciccotosto; sister-in-law Grace Hanny; and many nieces and nephews. Dotty is preceded in death by her husband, Lyle H. Swatek; parents James and Doris Hanny, uncle Elijah “Lefty” Hanny, brother James Phillip Hanny, and nephew Christopher James Costoff.
Services for Dotty will be held on January 27th, 2023, at St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church at 11:00am. Visitation will be held in church on January 27th from 9:30am till the time of service. Attendees are encourage to wear their best colors.
In lieu of other expressions of sympathy Dotty's family has asked that you donate in her name to either St. Judes or Kathy's House. Links have been provided below for your connivence.
To post an online condolence please click the "Share a Memory" box on the left side of your screen.
Derrick Funeral Home of Lake Geneva is more than honored to be assisting Dotty's family.