Passed Away On: February 20, 2022

Pat Swindell passed away at home surrounded by loving family and friends on February 20, 2022, at the age of 94.
She was born Joy Patricia Tingley on July 31, 1927, in the Anzar Hills of western San Benito County, on the same hillside where she grew up and lived almost her entire life, and where she died.
She attended San Juan Grammar School and Hollister High School.  In 1945 she met Clarence “Shy” Swindell, who was a soldier stationed at Fort Ord at the time. They married in 1946 and not long afterward moved to North Carolina for about a year, residing with his family there and becoming parents to their first child before returning to California to stay.
Growing up on her father Jack Tingley’s ranch, she learned about self-sufficiency and hard work.  She never shirked from either, and never hesitated to assist friends, neighbors, and family when they needed help with anything.
She was an avid reader all her life, and up to the time of her death, she remained engaged in political discourse, with strong democratic principles.  She was curious, capable, independent, and talented; she became adept at whatever she set her mind to learning.
In the early 1960s she attended night classes to learn woodworking skills and built a set of beautiful pine cabinets.  Mostly self-taught, she also created gorgeous and detailed wedding and special-occasion cakes that were commissioned by many over the years. She designed and drew the plans for the home they built.
A wonderful gardener, a master pie maker, and a great cook, she and her husband Shy always extended their hospitality to all who dropped in.  They were both very involved in the lives of their children and grandchildren.  She made a point of keeping in touch with both close and far-flung family and friends over the years, and treasured those connections.
Pat worked outside the home at times while raising a family, sorting pears at the Anderson Pear Shed in San Juan, testing garlic and onions in the laboratory at Gentry Foods in Gilroy, and she was later one of the beloved cafeteria ladies at San Juan Elementary School for several years until her retirement.
She is survived by her children, Ron Swindell of Homewood, Carol Millwood of Aromas, and Mark Swindell and wife Teri Marchese, of Aptos, son-in-law Joe Millwood of Aromas, as well as five grandchildren (Seth Millwood, Molly Millwood, Parker Swindell, Sarah Swindell, and Miranda Swindell Bray), seven great-grandchildren, and many cousins, nieces and nephews.  She was preceded in death by her husband Clarence, her siblings June Rice, Jack Tingley Jr., and Merle Tingley, and her parents John Henry and Cora Tingley.
A private celebration of life will be held on a future date.