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Bart left his home town to attend Iowa State University where he earned a degree in Chemical Engineering. After graduation he served in the U.S. Air Force as a pilot in the Vietnam war flying 436 combat missions as a FAC (Forward Air Controller) from 1967 to 1968. His last four years of service were as a Test Pilot. After leaving the service in 1975, Bart owned and managed a Century 21 Real Estate Office in Ohio, then owned an Investment Banking firm in California before becoming a Certified Arborist and Horticulturist. For the past 9 years he has worked for Simon Wong Engineering, Inc. overseeing and inspecting highway, commuter rail and agency landscape construction projects in San Diego County.
Bart also teaches Entrepreneurship at the Ornamental Horticulture Department of Cuyamaca College in El Cajon, CA. Bart and his lovely wife LaVon (“Vonnie”) have 3 children, 6 grandchildren, 1 horse, 2 dogs and 4 chickens.
LaVon Elam Switzer, known as “Vonnie” to her friends and “Mallma” to her grandchildren, grew up in San Jose, CA, attended Graceland College in Lamoni, IA and then earned her Bachelor of Arts degree at Sacramento State University. She then completed her Masters in Social Work at San Diego State University and went on to become an LCSW. She has worked as a Social Worker and Supervisor for Hospices the past 17 years, and is currently is in a private practice partnership called the “ArtForHealing” which offers grief support for people experiencing pet and animal loss. After coping with Parkinson’s for 13 years, Vonnie’s mother died in 1981.
Emmett spent his next 4 years in the San Diego Volunteer Equine Unit, and is now in training for the “ride of his life”, which will carry Bart over 2650 miles through the desserts, mountains and wilderness areas of the Pacific Crest Trail. Emmett’s registered name is “Brandy Skip Whiteout” and he is a descendant of several national champions. His even temperament has gained the reputation of being “Bomb Proof.”