1941 SUSAN 2023


November 7, 1941 — February 18, 2023

Fort Worth

Fort Worth, Texas – Susan Elizabeth Swain Hotard died Saturday evening, February 18.  She was 81.

A Celebration of Her Life will be held at 2:00 pm Monday, February 27, in the Sanctuary of University Christian Church, 2701 S. University Drive, with a reception to follow in the church’s Gallery Area.  She will be laid to rest privately in Greenwood Memorial Park.  The service will be livestreamed on the church's website,

Born in Graham, Texas, Susan was daughter of Henry and Elizabeth Young Swain, the oldest of their three children.  She graduated valedictorian from Graham High School in 1960.  Growing up, her family would vacation in Red River, N.M. where she came to embrace the southwest culture and counseled at Cimarroncita Girls Camp for several summers.

Susan graduated cum laude from Texas Christian University in 1964 with a major in English and a minor in Spanish.  She immediately began her teaching career at Eastern Hills High School in the Fort Worth Independent School District.  Susan spent her entire 35-year career at Eastern Hills except for two years in the mid-1970s when she was an English resource teacher at the district’s administration building.

In the first half of her career, Susan taught sophomores.  She would often say she loved sophomores because they still loved their parents and did not yet have their driver license.  In the latter half, she taught creative writing at the junior level and senior AP English.  In 1996, Susan was named the first recipient of the Bank One Chair for Teaching Excellence in English.  It came with a stipend of $10,000, which she used, in part, to fund programs at Eastern Hills and to buy an Apple computer so her students could teach her how to use it.  When Susan retired in 1999, her students set up a Facebook account for her and she kept up with many of them until her death.

Susan married John Hotard in the Robert Carr Chapel on the TCU campus in 1974.  She sent wedding invitations to about 70 sophomores so their parents would let them attend.

At TCU, Susan was a member of the Gamma Psi chapter of Kappa Alpha Theta sorority.  She later served for many years as chairman of the chapter’s advisory board.  Her devotion to TCU also extended through her leadership as president of Friends of the TCU Library, given her love of books.

Susan was an active member of University Christian Church for 58 years, serving on several committees including as chairwoman of the Board of Elders.  She and John were also active in the church’s annual Boar’s Head and Yule Log Festival.

In addition to her husband of 48 years, John, Susan is survived by her sister, Ellen Swain of Cimarron, N.M., and brother, Robert and his wife, Susie, of Arlington; two nephews, Chris Swain and his wife, Erin, and their son, Brock, of Frisco, and Matt Swain and his wife, Lisa, and their four children, Madeline Milby, Merideth Milby, Wyatt Swain and Elizabeth Swain.

Memorials:  In lieu of flowers, consideration of contributions to the UCC Music Fund and to ACH Child and Family Services, where she was a former board member, in her memory, is suggested









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